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Full text of "The early life of Abraham Lincoln : containing many unpublished documents and unpublished reminiscences of Lincoln's early friends"

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-1 Uorfoli. St. Strand, London, Eng. Published Quarterly. Entered at N. V. Post Office as Second Class Mail 


With the great Hubbard Collection of Napoleon Engravings 
and additional Pictures from European Collections & j* J> 

HIS new and splendidly illus- 
trated biography, by Ida M. 
Tarbell, has well been called 
" the best short Life of Napo- 
leon." In writing this " Life " 
Miss Tarbell has had access 
to the masses of new material 
revealed by the latest investi- 
gations of enthusiastic and 
devoted Napoleonic, students. 
This biography not only 
recites the farts of Napoleon's life, but gives a 
masterly description of his personal traits, his 
habits of fife, his physical and mental character- 
istics, with numerous illustrative anecdotes, 
extracts from his letters and speeches, and 
incidents from the memoirs of those who were 
near to him. 

The illustrations are of surpassing interest, 
and constitute by far the most important col- 
lection ever printed in a volume. They include: 
i. The unique and very complete collection 
of Napoleon engravings of the Hon. Gardiner 
G. Hubbard, who spent fourteen years in making 
the collection, one of the greatest in the world. 

2. Reproductions of great paintings in the 
Louvre, the Museum of Versailles, and other public galleries. 

3. Many new pictures, never before published,, from the private collections of Mgr. 
Due d'Aumale; H. I. H. Prince Victor Napoleon; Prince Roland; Baron Larrey, the son 

of the chief surgeon of the armies of Napoleon ; 
the Duke of Bassano, son of the minister and 
confidantof the Emperor; M. Edmond Taigny, 
the friend and historian of Isabey; M. Albert 
Christophle, Governor-General of the Credit 
Fonder of France; M. Paul le Roux, who has, 
perhaps, the richest of the Napoleonic collec- 
tions; M. le Marquis de Girardin, son-in-law 
of the Due de Gaete, the faithful Minister of 
Finance of Napoleon I. 

We have thus the most complete pictorial 
biography of Napoleon ever published, con- 
taining all the authentic portraits by the great 
painters of his time, representing Napoleon at 
every period of his life, from his school-days at 
Brienne till his death at St. Helena; the best 
pictures of his great battles, from the Siege of 
Toulon, where, as a lieutenant, he - n ^-> c 
first success, to the final defeat at Waterloo 
in 181 5. » 

It is printed on the best coated paper — 
being the paper used for illustrated pages by 
the leading magazines. It will contain upwards 
of 250 pictures, and about 100 pages more than 
the largest magazine hitherto published. 


eproduc ed in ihr Met 


From a miniature by Rucher first published in the McClure's Life 

For sale by all Newsdealers and Booksellers, or sent postage free by the Publishers. 
Price in pitpcr, 50 cent*. In cloth, $1.00. 

S. S. McClure, Limited, 30 Lafayette Place, New York City 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

State of Indiana through the Indiana State Library 


From a carbon enlargement, by Sherman and McHugh, New York, of a daguerreotype in the possession 
of the Hon. Robert T. Lincoln, and first published in the McClure's Life of Lincoln. It is generally 
believed that Lincoln was not over thirty-five years old when this daguerreotype was taken, and it is certainly 
true that it shows the face of Lincoln as a young man. It is probably earlier by six or seven years, at least, 
than any other existing portrait of Lincoln. 













S. S. McCLURE, Limited 


[All r-ights reserved] 

Copyright, 1895, by 
S. S. McCLURE, Limited 

Copyright, 1896, by 
S. S. McCLURE, Limited 

Press of J. J. Little & Co. 
Astor Place, New York 


It has been only within the last ten years that the descent of 
Abraham Lincoln from the Lincolns of Hingham, Massachusetts, 
has been established with any degree of certainty. The satis- 
factory proof of his lineage is a matter of great importance. In 
a way it explains Lincoln. It shows that he came of a family 
endowed with the spirit of adventure, of daring, of patriotism, and 
of thrift ; that his ancestors were men who for nearly two hun- 
dred years before he was born were active and well-to-do 
citizens of Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Virginia, 
men who everywhere played their parts well. Abraham Lincoln 
was but the flowering of generations of upright, honorable men. 

The first we learn of the Lincolns in this country is between 
the years 1635 and 1645, when there came to the town of Hingham, 
Massachusetts, from the west of England, eight men of that 
name. Three of these, Samuel, Daniel, and Thomas, were brothers. 
Their relationship, if any, to the other Lincolns who came over 
from the same part of the country at about the same time is not 
clear. Two of these men, Daniel and Thomas, died without heirs ; 
but Samuel left a large family, including four sons. Among 
the descendants of Samuel Lincoln's sons were many good 
citizens and prominent public officers. One was a member of the 
Boston Tea Party, and served as a captain of artillery in the 
War of the Revolution. Others were privates in that war. Three 
served on the brig "Hazard" during the Revolution. Levi 
Lincoln, a great-great-grandson of Samuel, born in Hingham in 
1749, and graduated from Harvard, was one of the minute-men 
at Cambridge immediately after the battle of Lexington, a dele- 
gate to the convention in Cambridge for framing a State Con- 
stitution, and in 1781 was elected to the Continental Congress, 
but declined to serve. He was a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives and of the Senate of Massachusetts, and was appointed 
Attorney- General of the United States by Jefferson ; for a few 
months preceding the arrival of Madison he was Secretary of 
State, and in 1807 he was elected Lieutenant-Governor of Massa- 


chusetts. In 1811 he was appointed Associate Justice of the 
United States Supreme Court by President Madison, an office 
which he declined. From the close of the Revolutionary War he 
was considered the head of the Massachusetts bar. 

His eldest son, Levi Lincoln, born in 1782, had also an honor- 
able public career. He was a Harvard graduate, became Governor 
of the State of Massachusetts, and held other important public 
offices. He received the degree of LL.D. in 1824 from Williams 
College, and from Harvard in 1826. 

Another son of Levi Lincoln, Enoch Lincoln, served in Con- 
gress from 1818 to 1826. He became Governor of Maine in 1827, 
holding the position until his death in 1829. Enoch Lincoln was 
a writer of more than ordinary ability. 

The fourth son of Samuel Lincoln was called Mordecai (Presi- 
dent Lincoln descended from him, being his great-great-great- 
grandson). Mordecai Lincoln was a rich "blacksmith," as an 
iron-worker was called in those days, and the proprietor of 
numerous iron-works, saw-mills, and grist-mills, which with a 
goodly amount of money he distributed at his death among his 
children and grandchildren. Two of his children, Mordecai and 
Abraham, did not remain in Massachusetts, but removed to New 
Jersey, and thence to Pennsylvania, where both became rich, and 
dying, left fine estates to their children. Their descendants in 
Pennsylvania have continued to this day to be well-to-do people, 
some of them having taken prominent positions in public affairs. 
Abraham Lincoln, of Berks County, who was born in 1736 and 
died in 1806, filled many public offices, being a member of the 
General Assembly of Pennsylvania, of the State Convention of 
1787, and of the State Constitutional Convention in 1790. 

One of the sons of this second Mordecai, John (the great- 
grandfather of President Lincoln), received from his father 
" three hundred acres of land, lying in the Jerseys." But evi- 
dently he did not care to cultivate his inheritance, for about 
1758 he removed to Virginia. " Virginia" John, as this member 
of the family was called, had five sons, all of whom he estab- 
lished well. One of these sons, Jacob, entered the Revolution- 
ary Army and served as a lieutenant at Yorktown. 

The settlers of western Virginia were all in those days more 
or less under the fascination of the adventurous spirit which was 
opening up the West, and three of "Virginia" John's sons de- 
cided to try their fortunes in the new country. One went to 


Tennessee, two to Kentucky. The first to go to Kentucky was 
Abraham (the grandfather of the President). He was already a 
well-to-do man when he decided to leave Virginia, for he sold 
his estate for some seventeen thousand dollars. A portion of 
this money he invested in land-office treasury warrants. 

On emigrating to Kentucky he bought one thousand seven 
hundred acres of land. But almost at the beginning of his life 
in the new country, while still a comparatively young man, he 
was slain by the Indians. His estate seems to have been in- 
herited by his eldest son, Mordecai, who afterward became 
prominent in the State ; was a great Indian fighter, a famous 
story-teller, and, according to the traditions of his descendants, 
a member of the Kentucky legislature. This last item we have 
not, however, been able to verify. We have had the fullest col- 
lection of journals of the Kentucky legislature which exists, 
that of Dr. R. T. Durrett of Louisville, Kentucky, carefully 
searched, but no mention has been found in them of Mordecai 

It is with the brother of Mordecai, the youngest son of the 
pioneer Abraham, we have to do, a boy who was left an orphan 
at ten years of age, and who in that rude time had to. depend 
upon his own exertions. We find from newly discovered docu- 
ments that he was the owner of a farm at twenty-five years of 
age, and from the contemporary evidence that he was a very 
good carpenter ; from a document we have discovered in 
Kentucky we learn that he was even appointed a road surveyor, 
in 1816. We have found his Bible, a very expensive book at 
that time ; we have also found that he had credit, and was able 
to purchase on credit a pair of suspenders costing one dollar and 
fifty cents, and we have learned from the recollections of 
Christopher Columbus Graham that in marrying the niece of his . 
employer he secured a very good wife. The second child of 
Thomas Lincoln was Abraham Lincoln, who became the sixteenth 
President of the United States and the foremost man of his age. 

The career of Abraham Lincoln is more easily understood in 
view of his ancestry. The story of his life, which is here told 
more fully and consecutively, and in many points, both minor 
and important, we believe more exactly than ever before, bears 
out our belief that Abraham Lincoln inherited from his ancestry 
traits and qualities of mind which made him a remarkable child 
and a young man of unusual promise and power. So far from 


his later career being unaccounted for in his origin and early 
history, it is as folly accounted for as in the case of any man. 

So far as possible, the statements in this work are based on 
original documents. This explains why in several cases the 
dates differ from those commonly accepted. Thus the year of 
the death of the grandfather of Abraham Lincoln is made 
1788, instead of 1784, because of the recently discovered inven- 
tory of his estate. The impression given of Thomas Lincoln is 
different from that of other biographies, because we believe the 
new documents we have found and the new contemporary 
evidence we have unearthed, justify us in it. We have not 
made it a sign of shiftlessness that Thomas Lincoln dwelt in a 
log cabin at a date when there was scarcely anything else in the 

An effort has been made, too, to give what we believe to be a 
truer color to the fourteen years the Lincolns spent in southern 
Indiana, The poverty and the wretchedness of their life has 
been insisted upon until it is popularly supposed that Abraham 
Lincoln came from a home similar to those of the "poor white 
trash" of the South. There is no attempt made here to deny 
the poverty of the Lincoln household, but it is insisted that this 
poverty was a temporary condition incident to pioneer life and 
the unfortunate death of Thomas Lincoln's father when he was 
but a boy. Thomas Lincoln' s restless efforts to better his con- 
dition by leaving Kentucky for Indiana in 1816, and afterwards, 
when he had discovered that his farm in Spencer County was 
barren, by trying his fortunes in Illinois, are sufficient proof 
that he had none of the indolent acceptance of fate which char- 
acterizes the "poor whites." 

In telling the story of the six years of Lincoln's life in New 
Salem, we have attempted to give a consecutive narrative and to 
show the exact sequence of events, which has never been done 
before. We have shown, what seems to us very suggestive, the 
persistency and courage with which he seized every opportunity 
and carried on simultaneously his business as storekeeper and 
postmaster and surveyor and at the same time studied law. To 
establish the order of events in this New Salem period, the 
records of the county have been carefully examined, and many 
new documents concerning Lincoln have been found in this 
search, including his first vote, his first official document (an 
election return), and several new surveying plats. The latter 


show Lincoln to have been much more active as a surveyor than 
has commonly been supposed. We have also brought to light 
the grammar Lincoln studied, with a sentence written on the title 
page in Lincoln's own hand. 

For the first time, too, we publish documents signed by Lin- 
coln as a postmaster. These two letters are also earlier than any 
other published letters of Lincoln. Many minor errors have been 
corrected, such as the real number of votes which he received on 
his first election to the legislature, and the times and places of 
his mustering out and into service in the Black Hawk War. 

The number of illustrations in the work is many times greater 
than ever has before appeared in connection with the early life 
of Lincoln. The scenes of his life in Kentucky, Indiana, and 
Illinois have been photographed especially for us, and we have 
collected from various sources numbers of pictures illustrating 
the primitive surroundings of his boyhood and young manhood, 
together with portraits of many of his companions in those days. 
Our object in giving such a profusion of homely scenes and 
faces has been to make a history of Lincoln's early life in pict- 
ures. We believe that one examining these prints independ- 
ently of the text would have a good idea of Lincoln's condition 
from 1809 to 1836. 

By far the most important of the illustrations of the work is 
the collection of portraits. This is the first systematic effort to 
make a complete collection of portraits of the great President. 
Our success so far encourages us in believing that before we end 
our work on Lincoln we shall have such a collection. Already 
we have some seventy-five different portraits. Of these, the 
great majority are photographs, ambrotypes, and daguerreo- 
types. It was Mr. Lincoln's custom, after the introduction of 
photography into Illinois, to sit for his picture whenever he 
visited a town to make a speech. This picture he usually gave 
to his host ; the result was that there now remain, scattered 
among his old friends, a large number of interesting portraits, 
of which nobody but the owners knew until we undertook this 
work. Thus of the twenty portraits which appear in this vol- 
ume, twelve have never before been published anywhere, so far 
as we know. 

It has been through the generosity and courtesy of collectors 
and of our correspondents and readers that it has been possible 
for us to gather so great a number of portraits and documents. 


On all sides collections have been pnt freely at onr service, and 
numbers of our readers have sent us unpublished ambrotypes, 
daguerreotypes, and photographs, glad, as they have written us, 
to aid in completing a Lincoln portrait gallery. It is not pos- 
sible to mention here the names of all those to whom we are 
indebted, not only for portraits but for documents and manu- 
scripts, but credit is given in inserting the material furnished. 

Our effort has been to give in both text and notes as exact 
and full statements as the information we have been able to 
gather permitted us to do. If any reader of this volume dis- 
covers errors we shall be glad to receive corrections. 




Origin of the Lincoln Family. — Possessions of Lincoln's Grandfather. — 
Lincoln's Story-telling 1 Uncle. — Account of Lincoln's Father, Thomas 
Lincoln. — Marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. — Character 
of Nancy Hanks. — Thomas Lincoln's Manner of Life and Standing 
among his Neighbors . - 21 


The Birth of Abraham Lincoln. — Lincoln's Childhood Home. — Reminis- 
cences of Austin Gollaher, a Boyhood Comrade of Lincoln's. — Saves 
Lincoln's Life. — Lincoln's Eai'ly School-teachers. — Lincoln's Fondness 
for Study 42 


The Lincolns leave Kentucky. — Hewing a Way through the Forests of 
Indiana. — A Cabin erected near Gentry ville, Spencer County, Indiana. 
— Description of Lincoln's New Home. — Domestic Economy of the 
Lincoln Household. — Pioneer Fare and Apparel. — Death of Lincoln's 
Mother. — Lincoln's Strength and Skill as a Laborer. — Lincoln earns a 
Dollar as a Ferryman 51 


Lincoln's Struggle for an Education. — The Books he Read. — Lincoln as 
the Oracle of Jones's Store. — Slavery in Indiana. — Lincoln Develops 
into an Orator and Writer. — Life on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers 
and its Effect on Lincoln 69 


Lincoln's Literary Fame among his Neighbors. — The Champion of the 
Spelling-bee. — His Retort to a Boasting Jockey. — His Affection for his 




Amusements of Lincoln's Life in Indiana. — Lincoln as a Sportsman. — 
Lincoln's Earliest Romance. — Early Bereavements . . . .88 


The Lincolns leave Indiana.— Parting from Old Friends in Indiana.— The 
Journey to Illinois.— Lincoln as a Peddler. — Begins Life on his own 
Account.— Splitting Rails for a Pair of Trousers.— Lincoln's Great 
Strength and his Pride in it. — Lincoln and the Professional Athlete . 94 


Lincoln's First Work on his own Account. — Lincoln's Popularity in San- 
gamon County. — Rescues Three Comrades from Drowning. — Ingenuity 
in getting a Flathoat over a Dam.— A Visit to New Orleans. — New 
Orleans in 1831, and Lincoln's Experiences there 103 


Lincoln settles in New Salem.— He becomes a Grocery Clerk.— The Fron- 
tier Store. — Lincoln defeats the Champion Wrestler of Clary's Grove. 
—His Popularity in New Salem.— His Chivalry and Honesty.— Mas- 
ters Kirkham's Grammar and enters Politics 115 


Lincoln's First Announcement to the Voters of Sangamon County. — His 
Views on the Improvement of the Sangamon. — Views on Usury and 
Education.— The Modesty of his Circular.— Pilots a Steamboat up the 
Sangamon 125 


The Black Hawk War. —Outbreak of Sacs and Foxes.— Lincoln volunteers 
and is elected a Captain.— The Manner of his Election.— An Inexperi- 
enced Captain and a Disorderly Company. — The Course of the War. — 
Stillman's Defeat.— Zachary Taylor's Way of dealing with Insubor- 
dination 134 




Expiration of Lincoln's Term and his Reenlistment. — Major Iles's Reminis- 
cences of the Campaign. — The Frantic Terror raised by Black Hawk. 
— Lincoln and his Company enter Michigan Territory. — End of the 
War, and Lincoln's Return to New Salem 144 


Electioneering in 1832 in Illinois. — Lincoln defeated of Election to the As- 
sembly. — Looking for Work. — Berry and Lincoln buy Three Stores on 
Credit. — New Salem Merchants in Lincoln's Day. — Lincoln reads 
Burns and Shakespeare. — His Familiarity with Shakespeare . . 155 


Lincoln begins to Study Law. — His First Law-book. — A Chance Copy of 
Blackstone. — Berry and Lincoln take out a Tavern License and hire 
a Clerk 166 


Lincoln appointed Postmaster. — Masters Surveying in Six Weeks, and be- 
comes Deputy County Surveyor. — Surveying with a Grapevine. — His 
Work and Earnings as a Surveyor. — Early Illinois Towns laid out by 
Lincoln 175 


Business Reverses. — The Kindness shown Lincoln in New Salem. — His 
Helpfulness to all about him. — Growing Esteem and Influence in 
Sangamon County. — Becomes a Second Time a Candidate for Member 
of the Illinois Assembly. — Lincoln on the Stump. — Lincoln's Election. 
—The Vote . 187 


Lincoln decides finally on a Legal Career. — His Methods of Study. — First 
Session in the General Assembly. — Distrust of Yankees in Early Illi- 
nois. — Description of the Early Frontier Legislator. — Questions before 
the Assembly. — Internal Improvements. — The State Bank . . . 197 




Lincoln's Romance with Ann Rutledge. — Ann's First Lover, John McNeill, 
or McNamar. — McNeill's Departure from New Salem. — Lincoln's En- 
gagement. — Ann Rutledge's Death, and Lincoln's Deep Grief . . 208 


Abraham Lincoln at Twenty-six Years of Age. — A Review of his Career 

thus far. — His Excellent Preparation for what was to come . . 218 


I. Memoranda for Lincoln's Genealogy. By the Hon. L. E. Chittenden . 223 

II. Christopher Columbus Graham and his Reminiscences of Lincoln's 

Parents 227 

III. A Leaf from Lincoln's Exercise-Book 236 

IV. The Oldroyd Lincoln Collection 237 



The Earliest Portrait of Lincoln Frontispiece 

Lincoln in 1861. From a photograph owned by A. J. Conant . . 16 

Lincoln in 1854. From a photograph owned by George Schneider . IS 

Lincoln in 1863. From a photograph by Brady, Washington . . 20 
Land Warrant issued to Lincoln's Grandfather . . . .22 
Notes of Survey of Land owned by Lincoln's Grandfather . . 23 
Stockade Home of Lincoln's Grandfather ...... 24 

Daniel Boone .25 

Relics of Daniel Boone , 26 

Meeting-house on the Farm of Lincoln's Grandfather , 27 

Jesse Head, who married Lincoln's Parents .... 29 

Marriage Bond of Thomas Lincoln . 30 

Marriage Certificate of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks . .31 
Marriage Return of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks . . ,32 
Lincoln in February, 1860. From a photograph by Brady . . ,33 
Christopher Columbus Graham in his One Hundredth Year . . 35 
Facsimile of a Passage from Lincoln's Exercise-book . . .36 

House in which Abraham Lincoln was born 37 

Thomas Lincoln's Bible 38 

View of Rock Spring Farm, where President Lincoln was born . 39 
Rock Spring, on the Farm where Lincoln was born . . .39 
Lincoln in 1858. From a photograph taken at Beardstown, Illinois . 41 
Appointment of Thomas Lincoln as Road Surveyor . . . .42 
Deed of Sale by Thomas Lincoln and Wife ..... 43 

A Kentucky Hand-mill , 44 

Map Showing Points of Interest in Lincoln's Early Life . . 45 

Abraham Lincoln's Indiana Home .46 

Lincoln Farm in Indiana , 47 

Grave of Lincoln's Mother 48 

Lincoln in 1857. From a photograph by Hesler ..... 49 
Marriage License of Thomas Lincoln and Sarah Johnston . , 51 

Sarah Bush Lincoln, Lincoln's Step-mother 52 

Bond given by Thomas Lincoln at Marriage with Sarah Johnston 53 
Buckthorn Valley, where Lincoln worked and hunted . . .54 
Lincoln's "Swimming-hole," in Little Pigeon Creek . . . .55 
Brick-mould used by Lincoln's Father ....... 55 



Well dug by Lincoln 

Hickory- bark Ox-muzzle 

The Crawford House, where Lincoln was a Farm-hand 

Facsimile of Lincoln Family Record 

Dennis Hanks 

Mouth of Anderson Creek, where Lincoln kept the Ferryboat 
Josiah Crawford, for whom Lincoln worked as a Farm-hand 

A Mississippi "Broad-horn" 

A River Produce Boat 

Joseph Gentry, Lincoln's Comrade in Indiana 

Lincoln in 1858. After an ambrotype owned by James K. Magie 

Samuel Crawford 

Abraham Lincoln. After a photograph owned by J. C. Browne 

Mississippi River Produce Boat 

John Hanks 

Judge John Pitcher, a Friend of Lincoln's in Indiana 

Corn-husk Collar 

Punched Sheet-iron Lantern 

John W. Lamar, who knew Lincoln in Indiana . 

The Rev. Allen Brooner, who knew Lincoln in Indiana . 

Lines from Lincoln's Copy-book 

Fragment from a Leaf of Lincoln's Exercise-book . 

Leaf from Lincoln's Exercise-book 

William Jones, for whom Lincoln clerked in Indiana 
Lincoln in 1858. From a photograph owned by Stuart Brown 
Green B. Taylor, Comrade of Lincoln in Indiana 

Cabinet made by Abraham Lincoln 

Pigeon Creek Church, which the Lincolns attended in Indiana 

The First Lincoln Monument 

Ford where the Lincolns crossed the Wabash River 

Grave of Lincoln's Sister 

Corn-husk Brooms and Mops 

A Lincoln Chair 

Pioneer Kitchen Utensils 

Hill from which the Lincolns last saw their Indiana Home 

Lincoln's First Home in Illinois 

Lincoln's Broad-axe 

John E. Roll, who helped Lincoln build a Flatboat 

Map of Sangamon Town in 1831 

Lincoln in 1859. From a photograph made by Fassett of Chicago 
Lincoln's Device for lifting Vessels over Shoals . 




58, 59 



Lincoln, Offutt, and Green on the Flatboat at New Salem . .103 

Thomas Lincoln's Home in Illinois 105 

A View of New Salem 107 

The New Salem Mill Twenty-five Years ago 109 

A Matron of New Salem in 1832 110 

A New Salem Bonnet 110 

The Site of New Salem as it appears To-day Ill 

Lincoln in 1857. After an ambrotype by Alschuler, Urbana, Illinois . 113 

Map of New Salem 1LG 

William G. Greene, an Early Friend of Lincoln's at New Salem . 117 

A New Salem Spinning-wheel 118 

A New Salem Interior, showing Costumes and Furniture . . 119 

View from the Top of New Salem Hill 121 

Mentor Graham, the New Salem Schoolmaster 122 

A New Salem Chair 123 

Model of First Plough made in Menard County, Illinois . . 123 
Lincoln's First Vote. Photographed from the original poll-book . 126 

Lincoln in 1861 130 

Above the Dam at New Salem 131 

The Kirkham's Grammar used by Lincoln at New Salem . . . 132 

A New Salem Centre Table ... 133 

A Clary's Grove Log Cabin 131 

Nancy Green, a Friend of Lincoln's at New Salem . . . .135 
John A. Clary, One of the "Clary's Grove Boys" . . . .136 

Dutch Oven 137 

View of the Sangamon River near New Salem 139 

Site of Denton Offutt's Store 140 

John Potter, Neighbor of Lincoln's at New Salem .... ill 

Bowling Green's House 143 

Abraham Lincoln. From a photograph owned by T. H. Bartlett, Boston 115 

The Black Hawk 149 

White Cloud, The Prophet . . 150 

Black Hawk 151 

Whirling Thunder 151 

Zachary Taylor 152 

Black Hawk War Relics 153 

Scene of Stillman's Defeat . 156 

Major Robert Anderson ' * . . .157 

Bad Axe Battle-ground 159 

Lincoln in 1860. From a photograph by Hesler 161 

Black Hawk War Monument at Kellogg's Grove . . . .161 




John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois 1831-1834 . 
Elijah Iles, Lincoln's Captain in the Black Hawk War 
A Black Hawk War Discharge signed by Lincoln . 

Map of Illinois in 1832 

Election Eeturn written by Lincoln as Clerk in 1832 
A Stage-coach Advertisement, 1834 .... 

Berry and Lincoln's Store in 1895 

Lincoln Early in 1861. From a photograph owned by H. W 

Tavern License issued to Berry and Lincoln 

The State-house at Vandalia, Illinois . 

Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lincoln's Clerk 

The Rev. John M. Cameron, a New Salem Friend of Lincoln's 

James Short, a New Salem Friend of Lincoln's . 

Squire Coleman Smoot, a New Salem Friend of Lincoln's 

Samuel Hill, at whose Store Lincoln kept the Post-office 

Mary Ann Rutledge, Mother of Ann Mayes Rutledge 

Boot- jack made and used by Lincoln when a Young Man 

Letter and Receipt written by Lincoln as Postmaster . 

Letter written by Lincoln as Postmaster . 

John Calhoun, under whom Lincoln learned Surveying . 

Lincoln's Surveying Instruments 

Lincoln in the Summer of 1860. From a photograph by Tuttle 

Lincoln's Saddle-bags 

View of the Sangamon River near New Salem . 

Stephen A. Douglas 

Report of a Road Survey by Lincoln 

Map made by Lincoln of a Road in Menard County, Illinois 
Survey of a Section of Land by Lincoln .... 
Lincoln in 1861. From a photograph by Hesler, Chicago 
Map of Albany, Illinois, made by Lincoln .... 
Lincoln in 1858. After an ambrotype by C. Jackson, Pittsfield, 111 

Two New Salem Chairs 

Major John T. Stuart, Lincoln's First Law Partner 

Ann Rutledge's Well 

Lincoln in 1858. From a photograph owned by Mrs. Harriet Chapr 

Facsimile of an Early Legal Opinion by Lincoln 

James McGrady Rutledge, Cousin of Ann Rutledge 

Ann Rutledge's Grave in Concord Cemetery 

Joseph Duncan, Governor of Illinois 1834-1838 . 

Dr. Francis Regnier, the New Salem Physician . 

Ann Rutledge's Grave in Oakland Cemetery 





FIKST 1'ir.I.lsilKI). 

From a photograph owned by Allen Jasper Conant, to whose courtesy we owe the right to reproduce it here. This photo- 
graph was taken in Springfield, early in 1861, by C. 8. German. 



From a photograph owned by Mr. George Schneider of Chicago, Illinois, former editor of the " Staats Zci- 
tung," the most influential anti-slavery German newspaper of the West. Mr. Schneider first met Mr. Lincoln in 
1853, in Springfield. " He was already a man necessary to know," says Mr. Schneider. In 1854 Mr. Lincoln was 
in Chicago, and Mr. Isaac N. Arnold, a prominent lawyer and politician of Illinois, invited Mr. Schneider to dine 
with Mr. Lincoln. After dinner, as the gentlemen were going down town, they stopped at an itinerant photograph 
gallery, and Mr. Lincoln had the above picture taken for Mr. Schneider. The newspaper he holds in his hands is 
the " Press and Tribune." 


From a photograph by Brady, taken in Washington. 






HE family from which Abraham Lincoln descended 
came to America from Norfolk, England, in 1637. 
A brief table * will show at a glance the line of 
descent : 

Samuel Lincoln, born in 1620. Emigrated from 
Norfolk County, England, to Hingham, 
Massachusetts, in 1637. His fourth son was 
Mordecai Lincoln, born in 1667. His eldest son 
Mordecai Lincoln, born in 1686. Emigrated to New Jersey and 

Pennsylvania, 1714. His eldest son was 
John Lincoln, born before 1725. In 1758 went to Virginia. His 

third son was 
Abraham Lincoln, date of birth uncertain. In 1780, or there- 
abouts, emigrated to Kentucky. His third son was 
Thomas Lincoln, born in 1778, whose first son was 
Abraham Lincoln, 
Sixteenth President of the United States. 

For onr present purpose it is not necessary to examine the 
lives of these ancestors farther back than the grandfather, Abra- 
ham Lincoln, who has been supposed to have been born in Vir- 
ginia in 1760. A consideration of the few facts we have of his 
early life shows clearly that this date is wrong. It is known that 

* This table was prepared especially for this work by the Hon. L. E. Chittenden of 
New York, Register of the Treasury under Mr. Lincoln. In the Appendix will be found 
a full memorandum of Lincoln's genealogy, also prepared by Mr. Chittenden. 

axj CoiifitjAw'l 
ktieakB of. Virginias 

^jTKiS (hail be your W^RRAN 
vey and lav^oir in orif or mo 



*y kJJKwr* or Aiilgnsi jfe[ 

I the Quantity of £<r^^'f/^lrz ttsy-L-d ;?— « $) p| 
y .-Acres xf i_and, clue unto tie faid ^w^/A&^X 

^JEoncyg id into the publick. Treafuiifr; the Payment 

fifSoSicc. 61VL 
j^llJ*E5) OSce, on this ^| - 
§|® i'car One Thou^ 

rer hath been d 

certiriejl bv the Audi 

and their Certificate recalled into th. Land 
N under my Hand, and tik Seal ofihe faid 

■i*r-tf. —Day of m*s&tftevy? t^t^ in the 

d Seven Hundred and <£--*_4 ^^D 


From the original, owned by R. T. Durrett, LL.D., of Louisville, Kentucky. The land records of Kentucky show that 
Abraham Lincoln entered two tracts of land when in Kentucky in the spring and summer of 1780. These entries, furnished 
us by Dr. Durrett, are as follows : 

Mat 29, 1780.—" Abraham Linkhorn enters four hundred acres of land on Treasury Warrant, laying on Floyd's Fork, 
about two miles above Tice's Fork, beginning at a Sugar Tree S. B., thence east three hundred poles, then north, to include 
a small improvement."— Land Register, page 107. 

June 7, 1780.— "Abraham Linkhorn enters eight hundred acres upon Treasury Warrant, about six miles below Green 
River Lick, including an improvement macks by Jacob Gum and Owen Diver."— Page 126. 

The first tract of land was surveyed May 7, 1785 (see page 23), and the second on October 12, 1784. Tn 1782 he entered a 
third tract of land, a record of which is found in Daniel Boone's field-book. This entry reads : "Abraham Lincoln enters 
five hundred acres of land on a Treasury Warrant, No. 5994, beginning opposite Charles Yancey's upper line, on the south 
side of the river, running south two hundred poles, then up the river for quantity ; December 11, 1782." This is supposed by 
some authorities to be a tract of five hundred acres of land in Campbell County, surveyed and patented in Abraham Lincoln's 
name, but after his death. The spelling of the name Linkhorn instead of Lincoln, as it is invariably in other records of the 
family, has caused some to doubt that the Treasury warrant above was really issued to the grandfather of the President. 
The family traditions, however, all say that the elder Abraham owned a tract on Floyd's Fork. The misspelling and mis- 
pronunciation of the name Lincoln is common in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. The writer of this note has frequently 
heard persons in Illinois speak of " Abe Linkhorn " and " Abe Linkern." 








^ 1 t]N 



* ^ 


> ? 

N X 






*0i . rJ 




IN I * 


V^ £ 

t ^o ^ 







From the record of surveys in the surveyor's office of Jefferson County, Kentucky, Book B., page 60. 





From the original, owned by R. T. Durrett, LL.D., of Louisville, Kentucky. "The first inhabitants of 
Kentucky," says Dr. Durrett, " on account of the hostility of the Indians, lived in what were called forts. 
They were simple rows of the conventional log cabins of the day, built on four sides of a square or parallelo- 
gram, which remained as a court, or open space, between them. This open space served as a playground, a 
muster field, a corral for domestic animals, and a store-house for implements. The cabins which formed the 
fort's walls were dwelling-houses for the people." At Hughes Station, on Floyd's Creek, lived Abraham 
Lincoln and his family. One morning in 1788— the date of the death of Abraham Lincoln is placed in 1784, 
1786, and 1788 by different authorities ; the inventory of his estate (page 28) is dated 1788; for this reason 
we adopt 1788— the pioneer Lincoln and his three sons, Mordecai, Josiah, and Thomas, were in their clear- 
ing, when a shot from an Indian killed the father. The two elder sons ran for help, the youngest remaining 
by the dead body. The Indian ran to the side of his victim, and was just seizing the son Thomas, when 
Mordecai, who had reached the cabin and secured a rifle, shot through a loophole in the logs and killed 
the Indian. It was this tragedy, it is said, that made Mordecai Lincoln one of the most relentless Indian 
haters in Kentucky. 

in 1773 Abraham Lincoln's father, John Lincoln, conveyed to his 
son a tract of two hundred and ten acres of land in Virginia, 
which he hardly would have done if the boy had been but thir- 
teen years of age. We know, too, that in 1780 Abraham Lincoln 
had a wife and five children, the youngest of whom was at least 



Photographed for this work from the originals, in the collection of pioneer relics owned by R. T. 
Durrett, LL.D., of Louisville, Kentucky. The articles are a rifle, scalping-knife, powder-horn, tomahawk, 
and hunting-shirt. Dr. Durrett has all the documents needful to establish the authenticity of each of 
these articles. They unquestionably were used by Boone through a long period of hunting and Indian 
stalking ; all of the articles are well preserved, and even the leather coat is still fit for service. The rifle, 
says Dr. Durrett, is as true as it ever was. In this same collection are a large number of similar relics of 
other Kentucky pioneers. 

two years old. Evidently lie must have been over twenty years 
of age, and have been born before 1760. Probably, too, his 
birthplace was Pennsylvania, whence his father moved into Vir- 
ginia about 1758. 

Abraham Lincoln was a farmer, and, by 1780, a rich one for 
his time. This we know from the fact that in 1780 he sold a 
tract of two hundred and forty acres of land for ' ' five thousand 
pounds of current money of Virginia;" a sum equal to about 
$17,000 at that date. This sale was made, presumably, because 
the owner wished to move to Kentucky. He and his family 
had for several generations back been friends of the Boones. 
The spell the adventurous spirit of Daniel Boone cast over all 
his friends, Abraham Lincoln felt ; and in 1780, soon after selling 
his Virginia estate, he visited Kentucky, and entered two large 


tracts of land. Some months later lie moved with his family 
from Virginia into Kentucky. 

Abraham Lincoln was ambitious to become a landed proprietor 
in the new country, and he entered a generous amount of land — 
four hundred acres on Long Run, in Jefferson County; eight hun- 
dred acres on Green River, near Green River Lick ; five hundred 
acres in Campbell County. He settled near the first tract, where 
he undertook to clear a farm. It was a dangerous task, for the 
Indians were still troublesome, and the settlers, for protection, 
were forced to live in or near forts or stations. In 1784, when 
John Filson published his "History of Kentucky," though there 
was a population of thirty thousand in the territory, there were 
but eighteen houses outside of the stations. Of these stations, 
or stockades, there were but fifty-two. According to the tradition 
in the Lincoln family, Abraham Lincoln lived in one of these 

All went well with him and his family until 1788. Then, 
one day, while he and his three sons were at work in their 
clearing, an unexpected Indian shot killed the father. His 

death was a terrible blow to 
the family. The large tracts 
of land which he had entered 
were still wild, and his person- 
al property w T as necessarily 
small. The difficulty of reach- 
ing the country at that date, 
as well as its wild condition, 
made it impracticable for even 
a wealthy pioneer to own more 
long run baptist meeting-house. stock or household furniture 

From the original drawing, owned by R. T. Dnr- than WaS absolutely eSSeiltial. 
rett, LL.D., of Louisville, Kentucky. This meeting- A 1 , >, T * 1 1 

house was built on the land Abraham Lincoln, grand- A OlTinam .Lincoln WaS pro D- 

father of the President, was clearing when killed by ably aS Well provided with pei'- 
Indians. It was erected about 1797. t , „ , . 

sonal property as most of his 
neighbors, and much better than many. He had, for a pioneer, an 
unusual amount of stock, of farming implements, and of tools ; and 
his cabin contained comforts which were rare at that date. The 
inventory of his estate, recently found at Bardstown, Kentucky, 
and here published for the first time, gives a clearer idea of the 
life of the pioneer Lincoln, and of the condition in which his 
wife and children were left, than any description could do : 



"At the meeting of the Nelson County Court, October 10, 1788, 
present Benjamin Pope, James Rogers, Gabriel Cox, and James 
Baird, on the motion of John Coldwell, he was appointed admin- 
istrator of the goods and chattels of Abraham Lincoln, and gave 
bond in one thousand pounds, with Richard Parker security. 

"At the same time John Alvary, Peter Syburt, Christopher 
Boston, and William [John (?)] Stuck, or any three of them, were 
appointed appraisers. 

"March 10, 1789, the appraisers made the following return : 

£ s. d. 

1 Sorrel horse 8 

1 Black horse 9 10 

1 Red cow and calf 4 10 

1 Brindle cow and calf 4 10 

1 Red cow and calf 5 

1 Brindle bull yearling- .1 

1 Brindle heifer yearling 1 

Bar spear-plough and tackling .... 2 5 

3 Weeding hoes 7 6 

Flax wheel 6 

Pair smoothing-irons 15 

1 Dozen pewter plates 1 10 

2 Pewter dishes ....... 17 6 

Dutch oven and cule, weighing 15 pounds . 15 

Small iron kettle and cule, weighing 12 pounds 12 

Tool adds 10 

Hand-saw 5 

One-inch auger 6 

Thi'ee-quarter auger ...... 46 

Half-inch auger 3 

Drawing-knife " 3 

Currying-knife 10 

Currier's knife and barking-iron ... 6 

Old smooth-bar gun 10 

Rifle gun 55 

Rifle gun 3 10 

2 Pott trammels 14 

1 Feather bed and furniture 5 10 

Ditto . . 8 5 

1 Bed and turkey feathers and furniture 1 10 

Steeking-iron 16 

Candle-stick 16 

One axe 9 

£68 16s! 6d. 
Peter Syburt, 
Christopher Boston, 
John Stuck." 

* We owe this interesting document to the courtesy of R. T. Durrett, LL.D., of 
Louisville, Kentucky, a gentleman who for many years has made a specialty of the pio- 
neer history of his State, and through whose energetic and intelligent researches most 
of the documents concerning the pioneer Abraham Lincoln have been unearthed. 



> m 

• ?jL 



i Km JlL 

Soon after the death of Abraham 
Lincoln, his widow moved from Jef- 
ferson County to Washington Coun- 
ty. The eldest son, Mordecai, who 
inherited nearly all of the large 
estate, became a well-to-do and 
popular citizen. The deed-book of 
Washington County still contains a 
number of records of lands bought 
and sold by him. At one time he 
was sheriff of his county, and, again, 
its representative in the legislature 
of the State. Mordecai Lincoln is 
remembered especially for his sport- 
ing tastes and his bitter hatred of 
the Indians. General U. F. Linder 
of Illinois, who, as a boy, lived near 
Mordecai Lincoln in Kentucky, 
says : "I knew him from my boy- 
hood, and he was naturally a man 
of considerable genius ; he was a 
man of great drollery, and it would 
almost make you laugh to look at 
him. I never saw but one other 
man whose quiet, droll laugh ex- 
cited in me the same disposition to 
laugh, and that was Artemus Ward. 
He was quite a story-teller. He was 

ail honest man, as tender-hearted aS can-African colonization scheme, in 1817, that 

-i , ,-1 i , -i I lost a likely negro man, who was leader 

a woman, and, to the last degree, of my musicians . . . . But Jegge Hea a 

Charitable and benevolent. never encouraged any runaway, nor had any 

, , -r . ii-i -i • i •• 'underground railroad.' He only talked 

"Lincoln had a very high opinion freely and boldly , and had plenty of true 
of his uncle, and on one occasion southern men with him, such as ciay."- 
said to me : ' Linder, I have often 

said that Uncle Mord had run off with all the talents of the 

"Old Mord, as we sometimes called him, had been in his 
younger days a very stout mam and was quite fond of playing a 
game of fisticuffs with any one who was noted as a champion. 
His sons and daughters were not talented like the old man, but 
were very sensible people, noted for their honesty and kindness 


Prom an original drawing in the possession 
of R. T. Durrett, LL.D., of Louisville, Ken- 
tucky. The Rev. Jesse Head was a Methodist 
preacher of Washington County, Kentucky, 
who married Thomas Lincoln and Nancy 
Hanks. Christopher Columbus Graham, who 
was at the wedding, and who knew Mr. Head 
well, says : " Jesse Head, the good Methodist 
preacher who married them, was also a car- 
penter or cabinet-maker by trade, and, as he 
was then a neighbor, they were good friends, 
ne had a quarrel with the bishops, and was 
an itinerant for several years, but an editor 
and county judge afterwards in Harrods- 
burg. . . . The preacher, Jesse Head, often 
talked to me on religion and politics, for I 
always liked the Methodists. I have thought 
it might have been as much from his free- 
spoken opinions as from Henry Clay's Ameri- 



From a tracing of the original, made by Henry Whitney Cleveland. 

of heart." Mordecai remained in Kentucky until late in life, 
when he removed to Hancock County, Illinois. 

Of Josiah, the second son, we know very little more than that 
the records show that he owned and sold land. He left Kentucky 
when a young man, to settle on the Blue River, in Harrison 
County, Indiana, and there he died. The two daughters married 
into well-known Kentucky families : the elder, Mary, marrying 
Ralph Crume ; the younger, Nancy, William Brumfield. 

thomas Lincoln's boyhood and yottno manhood. 

The death of Abraham Lincoln was saddest for the youngest 
of the children, a lad of ten years at the time, named Thomas, for 



^7 /c ^> clL A«5>3> 


From the original, in the possession of Henry Whitney Cleveland of Louisville, Kentucky. This 
interesting document, discovered by Mr. Cleveland, and published for the first time in this biography, 
completes the list of documentary evidence of the marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. The 
bond given by Thomas Lincoln and the returns of Jesse Head, the officiating clergyman, were discovered 
some years ago, but the marriage certificate was unknown until recently discovered by Mr. Cleveland. 

it turned him adrift to become a "wandering laboring-boy" 
before he had learned even to read. Thomas seems not to have 
inherited any of the father's estate, and from the first to have 
been obliged to shift for himself. For several years he supported 
himself by rough farm work of all kinds, learning, in the mean- 
time, the trade of carpenter and cabinet-maker. According to 
one of his acquaintances, "Tom had the best set of tools in 
what was then and now Washington County," and was "a good 
carpenter for those days, when a cabin was built mainly with 
the axe, and not a nail or bolt-hinge in it ; only leathers and 
pins to the door, and no glass, except in watches and spectacles 
and bottles." * Although a skilful craftsman for his day, he 
never became a thrifty or ambitious man. "He would work 
energetically enough when a job was brought to him, but he 
would never seek a job." But if Thomas Lincoln plied his trade 
spasmodically, he shared the pioneer' s love for land, for when 
but twenty-five years old, and still without the responsibility of 
a family, he bought a farm in Hardin County, Kentucky. None 
of his biographers have ever called attention to this fact, if they 
knew it. A search made for this work in the records of Hardin 

* Christopher Columbus Graham, as reported byH. W. Cleveland of Louisville, Ky., 
in an interview in 1884, in Mr. Graham's hundredth year, and never before published. 


From a tracing of the original, made by Henry Whitney Cleveland. This certificate was discovered about 
1885 by W. F. Booker, Esq., Clerk of Washington County, Kentucky. 



From a photograph by Brady. The debate with Douglas in 1858 gave Lincoln a national reputation, and the following year 
he received many invitations to lecture. One came from a young men's Republican club in New York,— which was offering a 
series of lectures designed for an audience of men and women of the class apt to neglect ordinary political meetings. Lincoln 
consented, and in February, 1860 (about three months before his nomination for the Presidency), delivered what is known, 
from the hall in which it was delivered, as the " Cooper Institute speech " — a speech which more than confirmed his reputa- 
tion. While in New York he was taken by the committee of entertainment to Brady's gallery, and sat for the portrait repro- 
duced above. It was a frequent remark with Lincoln that this portrait and the Cooper Institute speech made him President. 

^^W?^V^- ^ <*^n^^^J ^ruy^c 


^^ i^^^Z$p° 

From a photograph by Klauber of Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Graham, born in 1784, lived 
until 1885, and was the only man of our generation who could be called a contemporary of 
Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. Long before the documentary evidence of their marriage 
was found, Mr. Graham gave his reminiscences of that event. Recent discoveries made in the 
public records of Kentucky regarding the Lincolns, bear out in every particular his recollections. 
He is, in fact, the most important witness we have as to the character of the parents of President 
Lincoln and their condition in life. The accuracy of his memory and the trustworthiness of his 
character are affirmed by the leading citizens of Louisville, Kentucky, of whioh city he was a 
resident. In the Appendix will be found a full statement by Mr. Graham of what he knew of 
Thomas Lincoln and his life. 


wpownd g0UlU^^ 


County first revealed it to us, and we cannot but regard it as of 
importance, proving as it does that Thomas Lincoln was not the 
shiftless man he has hitherto been pictured. Certainly he must 
have been above the grade of the ordinary country boy, to have 
had the energy and ambition to learn a trade and secure a farm 
through his own efforts by the time he was twenty-five. He 
was illiterate, never doing more "in the way of writing than to 
bunglingly write his own name." Nevertheless, he had the 
reputation in the country of being good-natured and obliging, 
and possessing what his neighbors called "good strong horse- 
sense." Although he was "a very quiet sort of man," he was 
known to be determined in his opinions, and quite competent to 
defend his rights by force if they were too flagrantly violated. 
He was a moral man, and, in the crude way of the pioneer, 

Thomas 'Lincoln learned his trade as carpenter in Elizabeth- 
town, in the shop of one Joseph Hanks. There he met a niece 



Thomas Lincoln moved into this cabin on the Big South Fork of Nolin Creek, three miles from Hod- 
geusville, in La Rue County, Kentucky, in 1808 ; and here, on February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was 
born. In 1813 the Lincolns removed to Knob Creek. The Nolin Creek farm has been known as the " Creal 
Farm" for many years; recently it was bought by New York people. The cabin was long ago torn 
down, but the logs were saved. The new owners, in August, 1895, rebuilt the old cabin on the original 
site. This, the first and only picture which has been taken of it, was made for this biography. 

of his employer, Nancy Hanks, whom, when he was twenty- 
eight years old, he married. Nancy Hanks was, like her hus- 
band, a Virginian. Her experience in life had, too, been similar 
to her husband's, for the Hanks family had been drawn into 
Kentucky by the fascination of Boone, as had the Lincolns. But 
it was only in her surroundings and her family that Nancy 
Hanks was like Thomas Lincoln. In nature, in education, and 
in ambition she was, if tradition is to be believed, quite another 
person. Certainly a fair and delicate woman, who could read 
and write, who had ideas of refinement, and a desire to get more 
from life than fortune had allotted her, was hardly enough like 
Thomas Lincoln to be very happy with him. She was still more 
unfit to be his wife because of a sensitive nature which made 
her brood over her situation — a situation made the more hope- 




r r- 


r«fi oiB w.Vb jv £w - 
E S T? A M E>N.T 

W ) T 11 






thomas Lincoln's bible.— now first published. 

From the original, in the collection of O. H. Oldroyd, Washington, D. C. It is not known when or 
how Thomas Lincoln obtained this Bible. After his death it passed to his step-children, the Johnstons, 
and was sold by them to the " Lincoln Log Cabin Company," to be exhibited at the World's Fair. It was 
purchased from this company for the Oldroyd collection. The family record, reproduced on pages 58 and 
59, belongs to this Bible. It was taken out and sold to Mr. C. F. Gunther before the Bible was sold 
to Mr. Oldroyd. 

less by the fact that she had neither the force of character nor 
strength of body to do anything to improve it ; if, indeed, she 
had any clear notion of what it lacked. Hers was that pitiful 
condition where one feels with vague restlessness that life has 
something better than one has found, something not seen or 
understood, but without which life will never be complete. 

Thomas and Nancy Lincoln were married near Beechland, in 
Washington County, Kentucky, on June 12, 1806. The wedding 
was celebrated in the boisterous style of one hundred years ago, 
and was followed by an infare, given by the bride's guardian. 

ri:i>ii>i:\r Lincoln w. 


From a photograph taken in September, 1895, for this biography. The house in which Lincoln 
was born is seen to the right, in the background. Rock Spring is in a hollow, under a clump of trees, in 
the left centre of the picture. 


From a photograph taken in September, 1895, for this biography. The spring is in a hollow at the foot 
of the gentle slope on the top of which the house stands. 


To this celebration came all the neighbors, and, according to that 
entertaining Kentucky centenarian, Dr. Christopher Columbus 
Graham, even those who happened in the neighborhood were 
made welcome. He tells how he heard of the wedding while 
"out hunting for roots," and went " just to get a good supper." 
"I saw Nancy Hanks Lincoln at her wedding," continues Mr. 
Graham, "a fresh-looking girl, I should say over twenty. I 
was at the infare, too, given by John H. Parrott, her guardian — 
and only girls with money had guardians appointed by the court. 
We had bear-meat ; . . . venison ; wild turkey and ducks ; 
eggs, wild and tame, so common that you could buy them at two 
bits a bushel ; maple sugar, swung on a string, to bite off for 
coffee or whiskey ; syrup in big gourds ; peach-and-honey ; a 
sheep that the two families barbecued whole over coals of wood 
burned in a pit, and covered with green boughs to keep the 
juices in ; and a race for the whiskey bottle." 

After his marriage Thomas Lincoln settled in Elizabethtown. 
His home was a log cabin, but at that date few people in the 
State had anything else. Kentucky had been in the Union only 
fourteen years. When admitted, the few brick structures within 
its boundaries were easily counted, and there were only log 
schoolhouses and churches. Fourteen years had brought great 
improvements, but the majority of the population still lived in 
log cabins, so that the home of Thomas Lincoln was as good 
as those of most of his neighbors. Little is known of his posi- 
tion in Elizabethtown, though we have proof that he had credit 
in the community, for the descendants of two of the early store- 
keepers of the place still remember seeing on their grandfathers' 
account books sundry items charged to T. Lincoln. Tools and 
groceries were the chief purchases he made, though on one of the 
ledgers a pair of "silk suspenders," worth one dollar and fifty 
cents, was entered. He not only enjoyed a certain credit with 
the merchants of Elizabethtown ; he was sufficiently respected 
by the public authorities to be appointed in 1816 a road surveyor, 
or, as the office is known in some localities, supervisor. It was 
not, to be sure, a position of great importance, but it proves 
that he was considered fit to oversee a body of men at a task of 
considerable value to the community. Indeed, all of the docu- 
ments which we have been able to discover, mentioning Thomas 
Lincoln, show him to have had a much better position in Hardin 
County than he has been credited with. 


After a faded ambrotype of Mr. Lincoln, now in the Lincoln Monument col- 
lection at Springfield, Illinois. All that is known of it is that it was taken at 
Beardstown in 1858. Mr. Lincoln wore a linen coat on the occasion. The pict- 
ure is regarded as a good likeness of him as he appeared during the Lincoln 
Douglas campaign. 

C^W-^W/ /d „ <Z-*&&tyfr 


• &^^^~]^£?^^^ 


From a tracing made by Henry Whitney Cleveland. The original of this document is in the records of 
Hardin County, at Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It has hitherto been entirely overlooked by the biographers 
of Lincoln, and was discovered in the course of a search for documents instituted for this work. The 
appointment was made on May 13, 1816, only a few months before the Lincolns moved to Indiana. It 
shows that Thomas Lincoln had a standing in the community, which his biographers have always ignored. 
The appointment, if modest, would not have been made, we have a right to believe, if Lincoln had been 
the " easy-going " and idle fellow he has been asserted to be. 




T was at Elizabethtown that the first child of the 
Lincolns was born, a daughter. Soon after this 
event Thomas Lincoln decided to combine farm- 
ing with his trade, and moved to the farm he had 
bought in 1803 on the Big South Fork of JNolin 
Creek, in Hardin County, now La Rue County, 
three miles from Hodgensville, and about four- 
teen miles from Elizabethtown. Here he was 
living when, on February 12, 1809, his second 
child, a boy, was born. The little new-comer was called Abra- 
ham, after his grandfather — a name which had persisted through 
many preceding generations of the Lincolns. 

The home into which the child came was the ordinary one of 
the poorer Western pioneer— a one-roomed cabin with a huge out- 
side chimney, no windows, and only a rude door. The descrip- 
tions of its squalor and wretchedness, which are so familiar, have 
been overdrawn. Dr. Graham, than whom there is no better 
authority on the life of that day, and who knew Thomas Lincoln 
well, declares : 

"It is all stuff about Tom Lincoln keeping his wife in an open 



shed in a winter when the wild 
animals left the woods and stood 
in the corners next the stick-and- 
clay chimneys, so as not to freeze 
to death ; or, if climbers, got on 
the roof. The Lincolns had a cow 
and calf, milk and bntter, a good 
feather bed,— for I have slept in it, 
while they took the buffalo-robes 
on the floor, because I was a 
doctor. They had home-woven 
' kiverlids,' big and little pots, a 
loom and wheel ; and William 
Hardesty, who was there too, can 
say with me that Tom Lincoln 
was a man, and took care of his 

The Lincoln home was un- 
doubtedly rude, and in many ways 
uncomfortable, but it sheltered a 
happy family, and its poverty af- 
fected the new child but little. 
He was robust and active ; and 
life is full of interest to the child 
fortunate enough to be born in 
the country. He had several com- 
panions. There was his sister 
Nancy, or Sarah — both names are 
given her — two years his senior ; 
there was a cousin of his mother's, 
ten years older, Dennis Hanks, an 
active and ingenious leader in 
sports and mischief ; and there 
were the neighbors' boys. One of 
the latter, Austin Gollaher, still 
tells with pleasure of how he 


The Book of Deeds in Hardin County, Kentucky, shows that in 1803, three years before his marriage, 
Thomas Lincoln bought a farm in Hardin County. The same records contain a deed of the sale in 1814 of 
this same farm, it is supposed, signed by Thomas Lincoln. The deed is evidently written and signed by one 
person. Nancy Lincoln affixes her mark. This is not proof that she could not write ; it not infrequently 
happens that people in remote country districts make a mark rather than labor with a pen, to which they 
are unaccustomed. All accounts of Nancy Lincoln agree that she was well educated for her day. 



played with young Lin- 
coln in the shavings of 
his father' s carpenter 
shop, of how he hunted 
coons and ran the woods 
with him, and once even 
saved his life. 

" Yes," said Mr. Gol- 
laher, " the story that I 
once saved Abraham Lin- 
coln' s life is true, but it 
is not correct as gen- 
erally related. 

"Abraham Lincoln 
and I had been going to 
school together for a 
year or more, and had 
become greatly attached 
to each other. Then 
school disbanded on ac- 
count of there being so 
few scholars, and we did 
not see each other much 
for a long while. One 
Sunday my mother 
visited the Lincolns, and 
I was taken along. Abe 
and I played around all 
day. Finally, we con- 
cluded to cross the creek to hunt for some partridges young 
Lincoln had seen the day before. The creek was swollen by a 
recent rain, and, in crossing on the narrow footlog, Abe fell in. 
Neither of us could swim. I got a long pole and held it out 
to Abe, who grabbed it. Then I pulled him ashore. He was 
almost dead, and I was badly scared. I rolled and pounded 
him in good earnest. Then I got him by the arms and shook 
him, the water meanwhile pouring out of his mouth. By this 
means I succeeded in bringing him to, and he was soon all right. 
" Then a new difficulty confronted us. If our mothers dis- 
covered our wet clothes they would whip us. This we dreaded 
from experience, and determined to avoid. It was June, the 


From a photograph of the original, owned by R. T. 
Durrett, LL.D., of Louisville, Kentucky. This mill was 
formerly the property of Joseph Brooks, a prominent pioneer 
of Kentucky. Similar ones were used by all Western pio- 


The above map shows where Abraham Lincoln's grandfather first took land In Kentucky, where his father and mother 
were married, where they first lived, where he was born, and where he lived from 1809 to 1816. It shows the Rolling Fork, 
Salt River, and the Ohio, which Thomas Lincoln followed in going into Indiana in 1816 ; the new home in Indiana ; the 
point where Lincoln kept the ferry about 1826 ; Boonville, where he went to hear trials ; the grave of his mother ; the 
route by which it is supposed he went to Illinois in 1830 (see page 87 for note correcting this route); the location of both of 
Thomas Lincoln's farms in Illinois, and his grave, near Farmington, Coles County. Sangamon, New Salem, Vandalia, Spring- 
field, and the chief places where Mr. Lincoln practised law are shown, as well as the points where the Lincoln and Douglas 
debates and the important political events of the campaign of 1860 took place. 


^nrr-mm' ~" £t^i— -*? 



After an old photograph showing the cabin as it appeared in 1869. Thomas Lincoln built this 
house in 1817, and moved into it about a year after he reached his farm. At first it had neither 
windows, door, nor floor ; but after the advent of Sally Bush Lincoln it was greatly improved. 
When he decided to leave Indiana he was preparing the lumber for a better house. 

sun was very warm, and we soon dried our clothing by spread- 
ing it on the rocks about us. We promised never to tell the 
story, and I never did until after Lincoln's tragic end. 

" Abraham Lincoln had a sister. Her name was Sallie, and 
she was a very pretty girl. Sallie Lincoln was about my age ; 
she was my sweetheart. I loved her and claimed her, as boys 
do. I suppose that was one reason for my warm regard for Abe. 
When the Lincoln family moved to Indiana, I was prevented 
by circumstances from bidding good-by to either of the children, 
and I never saw them again." * 

All the young people went to school. At that day the 
schools in the West were usually accidental, depending upon 
the coming of some poor and ambitious young man who was 
willing to teach a few terms while he looked for an opening to 
something better. The terms were irregular, their length being 
decided by the time the settlers felt able to board the master 
and pay his small salary. The chief qualification for a school- 
master seems to have been enough strength to keep the "big 
boys" in order, though one high authority affirms that pluck 
went "for a heap sight more'n sinnoo with boys." 

* Unpublished MS. of an interview with Austin Gollaher, by D. J. Thomas. 



Prom a photograph taken for this biography. Present appearance of the quarter section of govern- 
ment land in Spencer County, Indiana, entered by Thomas Lincoln, October 15, 1817, view looking east. 
Thomas Lincoln selected this tract in 1816, and, to identify it, he blazed the trees, and piled up brush at 
the corners to establish boundary lines. When he returned with his family he was obliged to cut his way 
to the spot chosen for his cabin, and to fell trees to find space for the "half-face camp " in which he first 
lived. This land was entered under the old credit system. Later Mr. Lincoln gave up to the United 
States the east half, and the amount paid on it was passed to his credit to complete paying for the west 
half. The patent issued for the latter tract was dated June 6, 1827. 

Many of the itinerant masters were Catholics — strolling Irish- 
men from the colony in Tennessee, or French priests from Kas- 
kaskia. Lincoln' s first teacher, Zachariah Riney, was a Catholic. 
Of his second teacher, Caleb Hazel, we know even less than of 
Riney. Mr. Gollaher says that Abraham Lincoln, in those days 
when he was his schoolmate, was "an unusually bright boy at 
school, and made splendid progress in his studies. Indeed, he 
learned faster than any of his schoolmates. Though so young, 
he studied very hard. He would get spice-wood brushes, hack 
them up on a log, and burn them two or three together, for the 
purpose of giving light by which he might pursue his studies. " 



Probably the boy's mother had something to do with the 
spice-wood illuminations. Tradition has it that Mrs. Lincoln took 
great pains to teach her children what she knew, and that at her 
knee they heard all the Bible lore, fairy tales, and country legends 
that she had been able to gather in her poor life. 

Besides the "ABC schools," as Lincoln called them, the 
only other medium of education in the country districts of Ken- 
tucky in those days was " preaching." Itinerants like the school- 
masters, the preachers, of whatever denomination, were generally 
uncouth and illiterate ; the code of morals they taught was 
mainly a healthy one, and they, no doubt, did much to keep the 
consciences of the pioneers awake. It is difficult to believe that 
they ever did much for the moral training of young Lincoln, 
though he certainly got his first notion of public speaking from 
them ; and for years in his boyhood one of his chief delights was 
to get his playmates about him, and preach and thump until he 
had his auditors frightened or in tears. 


From a photograph loaned by W. W. Admire. The grave of Abraham Lincoln's mother is on a 
wooded knoll about half a mile southeast of the site of her Indiana home. Near her are buried Thomas 
and Betsey Sparrow, who followed the Lincolns to Indiana, and who died a few days before Mrs. 
Lincoln, and of the same disease ; and also Levi Hall and his wife, who died several years later. There 
are two or three other graves in the vicinity. Until 1879 the only mark about the grave of Nancy Lincoln 
was the names of visitors to the spot, cut in the bark of the trees which shaded it ; then Mr. P. E. 
Studebaker of South Bend, Indiana, erected the stone, and soon after a fence was purchased by a few of 
the leading citizens .of Rockport, Indiana. The inscription on the stone runs : " Nancy Hanks Lincoln, 
Mother of President Lincoln, died October 5, a.d., 1818. Aged thirty-five years. Erected by a friend of 
her martyred son." 


From a photograph loaned by H. W. Fay of De Kalb, Illinois, The original was taken 
early in 1857 by Alexander Ilesler of Chicago. Mr. Fay writes of the picture : " I have a letter 
from Mr. Hesler stating that one of the lawyers came in and made arrangements for the sit- 
ting, so that the members of the bar could get prints. Lincoln said at the time that he did not 
know why the boys wanted such a homely face." Mr. Joseph Medill of Chicago went with 
Mr. Lincoln to have the picture taken. He says that the photographer insisted on smoothing 
down Lincoln's hair, but Lincoln did not like the result, anil ran his fingers through it before 
sitting. The original negative was burned in the Chicago fire. 

<l/£)Lc*<, <s£Cihs /jref-c+CZty- 


=*ofes> 4si/ie<i&<4 



-t&& <?<u~~~~£4- bfe^ 


From a tracing made by Henry Whitney Cleveland. 





N 1816 a great event happened to the little boy. 
His father emigrated to Indiana from Knob 
Creek (Thomas Lincoln had removed from the 
farm on Nolin Creek to one some fifteen miles 
northeast, on Knob Creek, when Abraham was 
four years old). " This removal was partly on 
account of slavery, but chiefly on account of the 
difficulty in land titles in Kentucky," says his 
son. It was due, as well, no doubt, to the fasci- 
which an unknown country has always for the adven- 
and to that restless pioneer spirit which drives even 


From a photograph in the possession of her granddaughter, Mrs. Harriet Chapman of Charleston, 
Illinois. Sarah Bush was born in Kentucky, December 13, 1788. She was a friend of Thomas Lincoln 
and Nancy Hanks, and it is said that Thomas Lincoln had been her suitor before she married Daniel 
Johnston. Her husband died in October, 1818. In November, 1819, Thomas Lincoln went to Kentucky 
to seek her a second time in marriage. An incident of the courtship is told by Mr. J. L. Nail, a cousin 
of President Lincoln : " Uncle Thomas caijie back to Kentucky after the death of his first wife, Nancy 
Hanks, and proposed marriage to the widow Johnston ; she told him that she would be perfectly willing 
to marry him, as she had known him a long time, and felt that the marriage would be congenial and 
happy ; but it would be impossible for her even to think of marrying, and leaving the State, as she was 
considerably in debt. Uncle Thomas told her that need make no difference, as he had plenty of money, 
and would take care of her financial affairs ; and when he had ascertained the amount of her indebtedness 
and the names of the parties to whom the money was due, he went around and redeemed all her paper 
and presented it to her, and told her, when she showed so much honor about debts, he was more fully 
satisfied than ever that she would make him a good wife. She said, as he had displayed so much 
generosity in her behalf, she was willing then to marry and go with him to Spencer County, Indiana." 
Sarah Bush Lincoln changed the character of the Lincoln home completely when she entered it, and there 
is no question of the importance of her influence upon the development of her step-son Abraham. She 
was a woman of great natural dignity and kindliness, and highly esteemed by all who knew her. She died 
on the 10th of December, 1869, at the old homestead in Coles County, Illinois. 



From a tracing made by Henry Whitney Cleveland. 

men of sober judgment continually towards the frontier, in 
search of a place where the conflict with nature is less severe — 
some spot farther on, to which a friend or a neighbor has pre- 
ceded, and from which he sends back glowing reports. It may 
be that Thomas Lincoln was tempted into Indiana by the 
reports of his brother Josiah, who had settled on the Big Blue 
River in that State. At all events, in the fall of 1816 he started 
with wife and children and household stores to journey by horse- 
back and by wagon from Knob Creek to a farm selected on a 
previous trip he had made. This farm, located near Little 
Pigeon Creek, about fifteen miles north of the Ohio River, and 
a mile and a half east of Gentry ville, Spencer County, was in a 
forest so dense that the road for the travellers had to be hewed 
out as they went. 



After a photograph made for this biography. In this valley are located nearly all the farms on which 
Lincoln worked in his boyhood, including the famous Crawford place, where he and his sister Sarah were 
both employed as " help." Visitors to the locality have pointed out to them numberless items associated 
with his early life— fields he helped to clear and till, fences he built, houses he repaired, wells he dug, paths 
he walked, playgrounds he frequented. Indeed, the inhabitants of Buckthorn Valley take the greatest 
pride in Lincoln's connection with it. 

To a boy of seven years, free from all responsibility, and too 
vigorous to feel its hardships, snch a journey must have been, 
as William Cooper Howells, the father of the novelist, says of 
his own trip from Virginia to Ohio, in 1813, "a panorama of 
delightful novelty." Life suddenly ceased its routine, and 
every day brought forth new scenes and adventures. Little 
Abraham saw forests greater than he had ever dreamed of, 
peopled by strange birds and beasts, and he crossed a river so 
wide that it must have seemed to him like the sea. To Thomas 
and Nancy Lincoln the journey was probably a hard and sad one ; 
but to the children beside them it was a wonderful voyage into 
the unknown. 


On arriving at the new farm an axe was put into the boy's 
hands, and he was set to work to aid in clearing a field for corn, 


A secluded part of Little Pigeon Creek, not .far from Gentryville, where Lincoln, 
Dennis Hanks, John Johnston, the Gentry boys, and others of the neighborhood used to 
bathe. It is still pointed out as " the place where Abe went in swimming." 

and to help build the " half-face camp " which for a year was 
the home of the Lincolns. There were few more primitive homes 
in the wilderness of Indiana in 1816 than this of young Lincoln's, 
and there were few families, even in that day, who were forced 
to practise more makeshifts to get a living. The cabin which 
took the place of the "half-face camp" had but one room, 
with a loft above. For a long time there was no window, door, 
or floor ; not even the traditional deer-skin hung before the exit ; 
there was no oiled paper over the opening for light ; there was 
no puncheon covering on the ground. 

The furniture was of their own manufacture. The table and 


From a photograph loaned by Jesse W. Weik. 





In a field near the Crawford house is a well which is pointed out to sight-seers 
as one which Lincoln helped to dig. Many things about the Crawford place— fences, 
corn-cribs, house, barn— were built in part by Lincoln. 

chairs were of the rudest sort — rough slabs of wood in which 
holes were bored and legs fitted in. Their bedstead, or, rather, 
bed-frame, was made of poles held up by two outer posts, and the 
ends made firm by inserting the poles in auger-holes that had 
been bored in a log which was a part of the wall of the cabin ; 
skins were its chief covering. Little Abraham's bed was even 
more primitive. He slept on a heap of dry leaves in the corner of 
the loft, to which he mounted by 
means of pegs driven into the wall. 

Their food, if coarse, was usually 
abundant; the chief difficulty in 
supplying the larder was to secure 
any variety. Of game there was 
plenty — deer, bear, pheasants, wild 
turkeys, ducks, birds of all kinds. 
There were fish in the streams, and 
wild fruits of many kinds in the 
woods in the summer, and these 
were dried for winter use ; but the 
difficulty of raising and milling 
corn and wheat was very great. In- 
deed, in many places in the West 
the first flour cake was an historical 


After a drawing made from the original, in 
the collection of pioneer articles in the United 
States National Museum, at Washington, D. C. 
Hickory bark was used freely by the Western 
pioneers. From it and from corn husks they 
were obliged, in fact, to make most of their 



The house of Josiah Crawford, near Gentryville, Indiana. Here Lincoln worked by the day for sev- 
eral months, while his sister was a "hired girl" for Mrs. Crawford. In 1829 Lincoln cut down timber 
and whip-sawed it into planks for a new house which his father proposed to build ; but Thomas Lincoln 
decided to go to Illinois before the new house was begun, and Abraham sold his planks to Mr. Craw- 
ford, who worked them into the southeast room of his house, where relic-seekers have since cut them to 
pieces to make canes. This picture is made after a photograph taken before the death of Mr. and Mrs. 
Crawford, both of whom are shown here. 

event.* Corn dodger was the every-day bread of the Lincoln 
household, the wheat cake being a dainty reserved for Sunday 

Potatoes were the only vegetables raised in any quantity, and 
there were times in the Lincoln family when they were the only 
food on the table ; a fact proved to posterity by the oft-quoted 
remark of Abraham to his father after the latter had asked a 

*The first flour cake made in Louisville, Kentucky, was made in 1779. The records 
of the city thus describe the event : " It is related that, when the first patch of wheat 
•was raised about this place, after being ground in a rude and laborious hand-mill, it 
was sifted through a gauze neckerchief, belonging to the mother of the gallant man 
who gave us the information, as the best bolting-cloth to be had. It was then short- 
ened, as the housewife phrased it, with raccoon fat, and the whole station invited to 
partake of a sumptuous feast upon a flour cake." — History of the Ohio Falls Counties, 
page 174. 



blessing over a 
dish of roasted 
potatoes — that 
they were "migh- 
ty poor bless- 
ings." Not only 
were they all the 
Lincolns had for 
dinner some- 
times; one of 
their neighbors 
tells of calling 
there when raw 
potatoes, pared 
and washed, were 
passed aronnd 
instead of apples 
or other fruit. 

The food was 
prepared in the 
rudest way, for 
the supply of 
both groceries 
and cooking uten- 
sils was limited. 
The former were 
frequently want- 
ing entirely, and 
as for the latter, 
the most import- 
ant item was the 
Dutch oven. An 
indispensable ar- 
ticle in the primi- 
tive kitchen out- 
fit was the "grit- 
ter." It was made 
by flattening out 
an old piece of 
tin, punching it 
full of holes, and 

I - "X? — — — — ,) 




Written by Abraham Lincoln 
From original in possession of 



g^j^r^^^- w 

'^^^^(dc^o^^y *d^/ crjP\ 





^riv /».>^- %~f~~\ ^ 

X*^- ^2^*~~/(llF 

U,Jj^~^~ /5 t* / ^/ 3 






A~> J l(Le^^ /s # 'my- I 




iu his Father's Bible. 

C. .F. Gunther, Esq., Chicago. 

nailing it to a 
board. Upon this 
all sorts of things 
were grated, even 
ears of corn, in 
which slow way 
enough meal was 
sometimes secured 
for bread. Old tin 
was used for many 
other little contriv- 
ances besides the 
"gritter," and 
every scrap was 
carefully saved. 
Most of the dishes 
were of pewter ; the 
spoons, iron ; the 
knives and forks, 

The Lincolns of 
course made their 
own soap and can- 
dles, and if they 
had cotton or wool 
to wear they had 
literally to grow it. 
One of the "old 
settlers ' ' of Illinois 
says of her experi- 
ence in clothing her 
family : 

' ' As for our clothes, 
we had to raise, pick, 
spin, and weave cotton 
for winter and sum- 
mer. We also made 
linsey of wool and flax. 
The first indigo we had 
we raised. Besides that 
we used sumac berries, 
white - walnut bark, 



and other barks for 
coloring 1 . 

' ' Now for cotton 
picking. We chil- 
dren had to lie before 
the fire and pick the 
seed from the cotton 
bolls before we could 
go to bed. The warm- 
er the cotton the bet- 
ter it picked ; so we 
would take a good 
sweat. The next day 
that bad to be carded 
and spun ; so some 
would soap the cot- 
ton, some card, and 
some spin ; and when 
we would get enough 
spun and colored to 
make a dress apiece 
we would put it in 
the loom and weave 
it. It did not take 
fifteen or twenty 
yards to make a dress 
then ; six or eight 
yards of linsey were 
enough for any wo- 

It is probable 
that young Abra- 
ham Lincoln wore 
little cotton or lin- 
sey-woolsey. His 
trousers were of 
roughly tanned 
deer-skin, his foot-covering a home-made moccasin, his cap a coon- 
skin ; it was only the material for his shirt or blouse which was 
woven at home. If this costume had some obvious disadvan- 
tages, it was not to be despised. So good an authority as Gov- 
ernor Reynolds says of one of its articles — the linsey-woolsey 
shirt — "It was an excellent garment. I have never felt so happy 
and healthy since I put it off." 

These "pretty pinching times," as Abraham Lincoln once 


From a photograph in the Libby Prison Museum of Chicago, by per- 
mission of Mr. C. F. Gunther. Dennis Hanks, a cousin of Nancy Hanks 
Lincoln, was born in Kentucky, in 1799, and was brought up by his uncle 
Thomas Sparrow. The year after Thomas Lincoln moved to Indiana, 
Thomas Sparrow followed him, but both he and his wife died there in 1818. 
Dennis then became an inmate of the Lincoln household. He afterwards 
married one of the daughters of Sally Bush Lincoln. It was largely through 
his influence that the Lincolns moved into Illinois in 1830. Dennis Hanks 
has been one of the most prolific contributors to the early period of Mr. 
Lincoln's life, his letters to Mr. Herndon being full of curious and 
valuable matter. He died in October, 1892. One of his daughters, 
Mrs. Harriet Chapman, is still living at Charleston, Illinois. 





From a photograph taken for this biography. This ferry, at the mouth of Anderson Creek, was first 
established and owned by James McDaniel, and was afterwards kept by his son-in-law James Taylor. 
It was the latter who hired Abraham Lincoln, about 1826, to attend the ferry-boat. As the boat did 
not keep him busy all the time, he acted as man-of-all-work around the farm. A son of James Taylor, 
Captain Green B. Taylor of South Dakota, is still alive, and remembers distinctly the months Lincoln 
spent in his father's employ. Captain Taylor says that Lincoln " slept up-stairs " with him, and used to 
read "till near midnight." 

described the early days in Indiana, lasted until 1819. The year 
before, Nancy Lincoln had died, and for many months no more 
forlorn place could be conceived than this pioneer home bereft of 
its guiding spirit ; but finally Thomas Lincoln went back to 
Kentucky and returned with a new wife— Sally Bush Johnston, 
a widow with three children, John, Sarah, and Matilda. The 
new mother came well provided with household furniture, 
bringing many things unfamiliar to little Abraham — "one fine 
bureau, one table, one set of chairs, one large clothes-chest, 
cooking utensils, knives, forks, bedding, and other articles." 
She was a woman of energy, thrift, and gentleness, and at once 
made the cabin home-like, and taught the children habits of 
cleanliness and comfort. 




Among those whom Lincoln served in Indiana as " hired 
boy " was Josiah Crawford, a well-to-do farmer living near 
Gentryville. Mr. Crawford owned a copy of Weems's "Life 
of Washington," a precious book in those days, and Lincoln 
borrowed it to read. " Late in the night, before going to rest, 
he placed the borrowed book in his only bookcase, the open- 
ing between two logs of the walls of the cabin, and retired to 
dream of its contents. Daring the night it rained ; the water 
dripping over the ' mud-daubing ' on to the book stained the 
leaves and warped the binding. Abe valued the book in pro- 
portion to the interest he had in the hero, and felt that the 
owner must value it beyond his ability to pay. It was with 
the greatest trepidation he took the book home and told the 
story, and asked how he might hope to make restitution. Mr. 
Crawford answered : ' Being as it is you, Abe, I won't be hard 
on you. Come over and shuck corn three days, and the book 
is yours. 1 Shuck corn three days and receive a hero's life ! 
He felt that the owner was giving him a magnificent present. 
After reading the book he used to tell the Crawfords : ' I do 
not always intend to delve, grub, shuck corn, split rails, and the 
like. 1 His whole mind was devoted to books, and he declared 
he ' was going to fit himself for a profession.' These declara- 
tions were often made to Mrs. Crawford, who took almost a 
mother's interest in him, and she would ask: 'What do you 
want to be now ? ' His answer was invariably : " I'll be Presi- 
dent.' As he was generally playing a joke on some one, she 
would answer : ' You'd make a purty President with all your 
tricks and jokes. Now, wouldn't you? ' He would then declare: 
' Oh, I'll study and get ready, and then the chance will come.' "* 

* Unpublished MS. by A. Hoosier. 


Abraham was ten 
years old when his new 
mother came from Ken- 
tucky, and he was al- 
ready an important 
member of the family. 
He was remarkably 
strong for his years, and 
the work he could do in 
a day was a decided ad- 
vantage to Thomas Lin- 
coln. The axe which had 
been put into his hand to 
help in making the first 
clearing, he had never 
been allowed to drop ; 
indeed, as he says him- 
self, "from that till with- 
in his twenty-third year 
he was almost constantly 
handling that most use- 
ful instrument." Be- 
sides, he drove the team, 
cut the elm and linn 
brush with which the 
stock was often fed, 
learned to handle the old 
shovel-plough, to wield 
the sickle, to thresh the 
wheat with a flail, to fan 
and clean it with a sheet, 
to go to mill and turn the 
hard-earned grist into 
flour. In short, he 
learned all the trades the 
settler' s boy must know, 
and so well that when his 
father did not need him 



From a model in the exhibit of the United States National Museum at the Atlanta Exposition of 1895. 
The flatboat which Abraham Lincoln piloted to New Orleans was not, probably, as well built a boat as the 
above model represents; but it was built on the same general plan. The hold was enclosed to protect the 
produce, and on the deck was a cabin in which the boatmen lived. In going down the river, rough sails 
were sometimes rigged up on these broad-horns, though they floated usually, directed by huge paddles. 
If the boat was brought back, it was warped and poled by hand up the river. More often, however, the 
boatmen sold both boat and cargo at New Orleans, and came back by the steamers as deck passengers. 
Boats like the two models on this page are still seen in great numbers on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. 

he could hire him to the neighbors. Thomas Lincoln also taught 
him the rudiments of carpentry and cabinet-making, and kept 
him busy much of the time as his assistant in his trade. There 
are houses still standing, in and near Gentryville, on which it is 
said he worked. The families of Lamar, Jones, Crawford, Gentry, 
Turnham, and Richardson, all claim the honor of having em- 
ployed him upon their cabins. 

As he grew older he became one of the strongest and most 
popular "hands" in the vicinity, and much of his time was 
spent as a " hired boy " on some neighbor's farm. For twenty- 
five cents a day — paid to his father — he was hostler, ploughman, 
wood-chopper, and carpenter, besides helping the women with 
the "chores." For them he was ready to carry water, make the 
fire, even tend the baby. No wonder that a laborer who never 
refused to do anything asked of him, who could " strike with a 
mall heavier blows " and "sink an axe deeper into the wood" 
than any bod y else in the community, and who at the same time 


From a model in the exhibit of the United States National Museum at the Atlanta Exposition of 1895. 
The photograph of this model, and of the one above, we owe to the courtesy of the director of the Museum, 
Mr. G. Brown Goode. 




was general help for the women, 
never lacked a job in Gentry ville. 
Of all the tasks his rude life 
brought him, none seems to have 
suited him better than going to 
the mill. It was, perhaps, as 
much the leisure enforced by this 
trip as anything else that at- 
tracted him. The machinery was 
primitive, and each man waited 
his turn, which sometimes was 
long in coining. A story is told 
by one of the pioneers of Illinois 
of going many miles with a grist, 
and waiting so long for his turn 
that, when it came, he and his 
horse had eaten all the corn, and 
he had none to grind. This wait- 
ing with other men and boys on 
like errands gave an opportunity 
for talk, story-telling, and games, 
which were Lincoln's delight. 
In 1826 he spent several months as a ferryman at the mouth 
of Anderson Creek, where it joins the Ohio. This experience sug- 
gested new possibilities to him. It was a custom among the 
farmers of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois at this date to collect a 
quantity of produce, and float down to New Orleans on a raft, 
to sell it. Young Lincoln saw this, and wanted to try his for- 
tune as a produce merchant. An incident of his projected trip 
he related once to Mr. Seward : 


One of the few companions of Lincoln's youth in 
Indiana, now living, is Joseph Gentry. He resides 
on a farm one-fourth mile west from the Lincoln 
farm, where he has lived about sixty years. 
When a boy he lived in Gentryville— a town 
founded by the Gentrys. He was present at the 
funeral of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and remembers 
hearing the minister say it was through the 
efforts of the little son of the dead woman that 
his services had been secured. 

" Seward," he said, " did you ever hear how I earned my first dollar ? " 

"No," said Mr. Seward. 

"Well," replied he, "I was about eighteen years of age, and belonged, as 
you know, to what they call down South the ' scrubs ; ' people who do not own 
land and slaves are nobody there ; but we had succeeded in raising, chiefly by 
my labor, sufficient produce, as I thought, to justify me in taking it down the 
river to sell. After much persuasion I had got the consent of my mother to 
go, and had constructed a flatboat large enough to take the few barrels of things 
we had gathered to New Orleans. A steamer was going down the river. We 
have, you know, no wharves on the Western streams, and the custom was, if 
passengers were at any of the landings, they were to go out in a boat, the 
steamer stopping, and taking them on board. I was contemplating my new 

Carton enlargement, made by Sherman & McHugh of New York City. 


From a photograph loaned by W. J. Franklin of Macomb, Illinois, and taken in 1866 from an 
ambrotype made in 1858 in Macomb. This portrait figures in the collection in the Lincoln Home at 
Springfield, Illinois, and on the back of the photograph is the following inscription : "This likeness 
of Abraham Lincoln is a faithful copy of an original ambrotype, now in possession of James K. 
Magie. It was taken August 25, 1858, by Mr. T. P. Pierson, at Macomb, in this State, and is believed 
to be of anterior date to any other likeness of Mr. Lincoln ever brought before the public. Mr. Magie 
happened to remain over night at Macomb, at the same hotel with Mr. Lincoln, and the next morning 
took a walk about town, and upon Mr. Magie's invitation they stepped into Mr. Pierson's establish- 
ment, and the ambrotype of which this is a copy was the result. Mr. Lincoln, upon entering, looked 
at the camera as though he was unfamiliar with such an instrument, and then remarked : ' Well, do 
you want to take a shot at me with that thing?' He was shown to a glass, where he was told to 
' fix up,' but declined, saying it would not be much of a likeness if he fixed up any. The old neighbors 
and acquaintances of Mr. Lincoln in Illinois, upon seeing this picture, are apt to exclaim : ' There ! 
that's the best likeness of Mr. Lincoln that I ever saw ! ' The dress he wore in this picture is the same 
in which he made his famous canvass with Senator Douglas." This inscription was written by J. C. 
Power, now dead, but for many years custodian of the Lincoln monument in Springfield. 



boat, and wondering 
whether I could make it 
stronger or improve it in 
any part, when two men 
w T ith trunks came down 
to the shore in carriages, 
and looking at the different 
boats, singled out mine, 
and asked, 'Who owns 
this ? ' I answered modest- 
ly, 'I do. 1 'Will you,' said 
one of them, ' take us and 
our trunks out to the steam- 
er?' 'Certainly,' said I. 
I was very glad to have the 
chance of earning some- 
thing, and supposed that 
each of them would give 
me a couple of bits. The 
trunks were put in my 
boat, the passengers seated 
themselves on them, and I 
sculled them out to the 
steamer. They got on 
board, and I lifted the 
trunks and put them on the 
deck. The steamer was 
about to put on steam 
again, when I called out, 
' You have forgotten to pay 
me.' Each of them took 
from his pocket a silver 
half-dollar and threw it 
on the bottom of my boat. 
I could scarcely believe 
my eyes as I picked up the 
money. You may think 
it was a very little thing, 

and in these days it seems to me like a trifle, but it was a most important inci- 
dent in my life. I could scarcely credit that I, the poor boy, had earned a dol- 
lar in less than a day; that by honest work I had earned a dollar. I was a 
more hopeful and thoughtful boy from that time." 

Soon after this, while he was working for Mr. Gentry, the 
leading citizen of Gentry ville, his employer decided to send a 
load of produce to New Orleans, and chose young Lincoln to go 
as "bow-hand," "to work the front oars." For this trip he 
received eight dollars a month and his passage back. 


Only living son of Josiah Crawford, who lent Lincoln the 
Weems's " Life of Washington." To our representative in Indi- 
ana, who secured this picture of Mr. Crawford, he said, when asked 
if he remembered the Lincolns : "Oh, yes; I remember them, 
although I was not Abraham's age. He was twelve years older than 
I. One day I ran in, calling out, ' Mother ! mother ! Aaron Grigs- 
by is sparking Sally Lincoln; I saw him kiss her ! ' Mother scolded 
me, and told me I must stop watching Sally, or I wouldn't get to the 
wedding. [It will be remembered that Sally Lincoln was ' help ' 
in the Crawford family, and that she afterwards married Aaron 
Grigsby.] Neighbors thought lots more of each other then than 
now, and it seems like everybody liked the Lincolns. We were well 
acquainted, for Mr. Thomas Lincoln was a good carpenter, and 
made the cupboard, mantels, doors, and sashes in our old home that 
was burned down." 


After a photograph in the collection of Mr. J. C. Browne of Philadelphia. 




ITH all his hard living and hard work, Lin- 
coln was getting, in this period, a desultory 
kind of education. Not that he received 
much schooling. He went to school " by- 
littles," he says ; " in all it did not amount 
to more than a year." And, if we accept 
his own description of the teachers, it was, 
perhaps, just as well that it was only ' ' by 
littles." w 'No qualification was ever re- 
quired of a teacher beyond 'readin', writin', and cipherin' to the 
rule of three. 1 If a straggler supposed to understand Latin 
happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon 
as a wizard." But more or less of the schoolroom is a matter 
of small importance if a boy has learned to read, and to think 
of what he reads. And that, this boy had learned. His stock of 
books was small, but he knew them thoroughly, and they were 
good books to know: the Bible, "JEsop's Fables," "Robinson 


Crusoe," Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," a "History of the 
United States," Weems's "Life of Washington," and the 
"Statutes of Indiana." These are the chief ones we know 
about. He did not own them all, but sometimes had to borrow 
them from the neighbors : a practice which resulted in at least 
one casualty, for Weems's "Life of Washington" he allowed 
to get wet, and to make good the loss he had to pull fodder 
three days. No matter. The book became his then, and he 
could read it as he would. Fortunately he took this curious 
work in profound seriousness, which a wide-awake boy would 
hardly be expected to do to-day. Washington became an 
exalted figure in his imagination ; and he always contended 
later, when the question of the real character of the first Presi- 
dent was brought up, that it was wiser to regard him as a god- 
like being, heroic in nature and deeds, as Weems did, than to 
contend that he was only a man who, if wise and good, still 
made mistakes and indulged in follies, like other men. 

In 1861, addressing the Senate of the State of New Jersey, he 
said : 

" May I be pardoned if, upon this occasion, I mention that away back in 
my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got hold of a small 
book, such a one as few of the younger members have ever seen — Weems's 
' Life of Washington.' I remember all the accounts there given of the battle- 
fields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed themselves 
upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New Jersey. 
The crossing of the river, the contest with the Hessians, the great hardships 
endured at that time, all fixed themselves on my memory more than any single 
Revolutionary event ; and you all know, for you have all been boys, how these 
early impressions last longer than any others. I recollect thinking then, boy 
even though I was, that there must have been something more than common 
that these men struggled for." 

Besides these books he borrowed many. He once told a 
friend that he "read through every book he had ever heard of 
in that country, for a circuit of fifty miles." From everything 
he read he made long extracts, using a turkey-buzzard pen and 
brier-root ink. When he had no paper he would write on a 
board, and thus preserve his selections until he secured a copy- 
book. The wooden fire-shovel was his usual slate, and on its 
back he ciphered with a charred stick, shaving it off when cov- 
ered. The logs and boards in his vicinity he filled with his 
figures and quotations. By night he read and worked as 



long as there was light, and he 
kept a book in the crack of the 
logs in his loft, to have it at 
hand at peep of day. When 
acting as ferryman, in his nine- 
teenth year, anxious, no doubt, 
to get through the books of the 
house where he boarded, before 
he left the place, he read every 
night " till midnight." * 

Every lull in his daily labor 
he used for reading, rarely going 
to his work without a book. 
When ploughing or cultivating 
the rough fields of Spencer 
County, he found frequently a 
half hour for reading. At the 
end of every long row the horse 
was allowed to rest, and Lincoln 
had his book out, and was 
perched on s t u m p or fence, 
almost as soon as the plough 
had come to a standstill. One 
of the few people still left in 
Gentryville who remembers Lin- 
coln, Captain John Lamar, tells 

CopyriRM, 1*0 4 by I> Appleton k Cm ..publishers of Hern- 
don's "JYife of Lincoln,'' and reproduced liy special 


The son of Joseph Hanks, with whom Thomas 
Lincoln learned the carpenter's trade, and a cousin 
of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. John Hanks lived 
with Thomas Lincoln in Indiana, from about 
1823 to 1827, then returned to Kentucky, and from 
there emigrated to Illinois. It was largely 
through his influence that Thomas Lincoln and 
Dennis Hanks went to the Sangamon country in 
1830. When Mr. Lincoln first left home he and 
John Hanks worked together. In 1831 they made 
a trip to New Orleans on a flatboat. It was John 
Hanks who, in 1800, accompanied Governor 
Oglesby to the old Lincoln farm in Macon 
County, to select the rails Lincoln had split, and 
it was he who carried them into the convention 
of the Republican party of Illinois, which nomi- 
nated Lincoln as its candidate. John Hanks was 
an illiterate man, being able neither to read nor 
write ; but he was honest and kindly, and his 
reminiscences of Mr. Lincoln's early life, gathered 
by Mr. Herndon and others, are regarded by all 
who knew him as trustworthy. After Mr. Lin- 
coln's election to the Presidency, he desired an 
Indian agency ; but his lack of even a rudimentary 
education made it impossible to give it to him. 

*The first authorized sketch of Lin- 
coln's life was written by the late John L. 
Scripps of the Chicago ''Tribune," who 
went to Springfield at Mr. Lincoln's re- 
quest, and by him was furnished the data 
for a campaign biography. In a letter 
written to Mr. Herndon after the death of 
Lincoln, which Herndon turned over to me, 
Scripps relates that in writing his book he 

stated that Lincoln as a youth read Plutarch's "Lives." This he did simply because, 
as a rule, almost every boy in the West in the early days did read Plutarch. When 
the advance sheets of the book reached Mr. Lincoln, he sent for the author and said, 
gravely: "That paragraph wherein you state that I read Plutarch's ' Lives ' was not 
true when you wrote it, for up to that moment in my life I had never seen that early 
contribution to human history ; but I want your book, even if it is nothing more than a 
campaign sketch, to be faithful to the facts ; and in order that that statement might be 
literally true, I secured the book a few days ago, and have sent for you to tell you I have 
just read it through." — Jesse W. Weik. 


to this day of riding to mill with 
his father, and seeing, as they 
drove along, a boy sitting on the 
top rail of an old-fashioned stake- 
and-rider worm fence, reading so 
intently that he did not notice 
their approach. His father, turn- 
ing to him, said : ' ' John, look 
at that boy yonder, and mark my 
words, he will make a smart man 
out of himself. I may not see it, 
but you'll see if my words don't 
come true." "That boy was 
Abraham Lincoln," adds Mr. 
Lamar, impressively. 

In his habits of reading and 
study the boy had little encour- 
agement from his father, but his 
step-mother did all she could 
for him. Indeed, between the 
two there soon grew up a rela- 
tion of touching gentleness and 
confidence. In one of the inter- 
views a biographer of Mr. Lin- 
coln sought with her before her 
death, Mrs. Lincoln said : 
" I induced my husband to permit Abe to read and study at 
home, as well as at school. At first he was not easily reconciled 
to it, but finally he too seemed willing to encourage him to a 
certain extent. Abe was a dutiful son to me always, and we took 
particular care when he was reading not to disturb him — would 
let him read on and on till he quit of his own accord." 

This consideration of his step-mother won the boy's confidence, 
and he rarely copied anything that he did not take it to her to 
read, asking her opinion of it ; and often, when she did not 
understand it, explaining the meaning in his plain and simple 

No newspaper ever escaped him. One man in Gfentryville, 
Mr. Jones, the storekeeper, took a Louisville paper, and here 
Lincoln went regularly to read and discuss its contents. All the 
men and boys of the neighborhood gathered there, and every- 

Copyright, lS'.'t, l>y I> Appletnn & Co., publishers of Hern- 
don's "Life of Lincoln, '' and reproduced by special 


A lawyer of Rockport, Indiana, at the time 
the Lincolns lived near Gentryville. An essay of 
Mr. Lincoln's, composed when he was about nine- 
teen, was submitted to Mr. Pitcher, who declared 
the " world couldn't beat it ; " and he seems to 
have taken a kindly interest in the author from 
that time forward, lending him books freely from 
his law office. Mr. Pitcher wasstill living in 1889, 
in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, having reached the age 
of ninety-three years. His reminiscences of the 
boyhood of Lincoln are embodied in Herndon's 



Drawn from the original, in the 
United States National Museum, at 
Washington, D. C. These collars 
were used in Indiana and Illinois in 
Lincoln's day. 

thing which the paper related was sub- 
jected to their keen, shrewd common- 
sense. It was not long before young 
Lincoln became the favorite member of 
the group, the one listened to most re- 
spectfully. Politics w r ere warmly dis- 
cussed by these G-entryville citizens, and 
it may be that sitting on the counter of 
Jones' s grocery Lincoln even argued on 
slavery. It certainly was one of the live 
questions in Indiana at that date. 

For several years after the organiza- 
tion of the Territory, and in spite of the 
Ordinance of 1787, a system of thinly 
disguised slavery had existed ; and it 
took a sharp struggle to bring the State 
in without some form of the institution. 
So uncertain was the result that, when 
decided, the word passed from mouth to 
mouth all over Hoosierdom, " She has come in free, she has come 
in free ! " Even in 1820, four years after the admission to State- 
hood, the census showed one hundred 
and ninety slaves, nearly all of them in 
the southwest corner, where the Lin- 
colns lived, and it was not, in reality, 
until 1821 that the State Supreme 
Court put an end to the question. In 
Illinois in 1822-1824 there was carried 
on one of the most violent contests 
between the friends and opponents of 
slavery which occurred before the re- 
peal of the Missouri Compromise. The 
effort to secure slave labor was nearly 
successful. In the campaign, pamph- 
lets pro and con literally inundated 
the State ; the pulpits took it up ; and 
' ' almost every stump in every county 
had its bellowing, indignant orator." 


So violent a commotion so near their Drawn from the original , in the 

borders COUld hardly have failed tO United States National Museum, at 
-, ^ , .,, Washington, D. C. Oiled paper was 

reaCU Irentry Vllle. sometimes used in the lanterns. 



There had been other anti-slavery agitation going on within 
hearing for several years. In 1804 a number of Baptist ministers 
of Kentucky started a crusade against the institution, which re- 
sulted in a hot contest in the denomination, and the organization of 
the " Baptist Licking- Locust Association Friends of Humanity." 
The Rev. Jesse Head, the minister w T ho married Thomas Lincoln 
and Nancy Hanks, talked freely and boldly against slavery ; and 
one of their old friends, Christopher Columbus Graham, the man 
who was present at their wedding, says : " Tom and Nancy Lin- 
coln and Sally Bush were just steeped full of Jesse Head's 
notions about the wrong of slavery and the rights of man as 
explained by Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine." In 1806 
Charles Osborn began to preach ''immediate emancipation" in 
Tennessee. Ten years later he started a paper in Ohio, devoted 
to the same idea, and in 1819 he transferred his crusade to Indi- 
ana. In 1821 Benjamin Lundy started, in Tennessee, the famous 
"Genius," devoted to the same doctrine ; and in 1822, at Shelby- 

ville, only about one hundred 
miles from Gentry ville, was 
started a paper similar in its 
views, the "Abolition Intelli- 
gencer. ' ' 

At that time there were in 
Kentucky five or six abolition 
societies, and in Illinois was an 
organization called the ' ' Friends 
of Humanity. ' ' Probably young 
Lincoln heard but vaguely of 
these movements ; but of some 
of them he must have heard, and 
he must have connected them 
with the " Speech of Mr. Pitt on 
the Slave Trade ; " with Merry's 
elegy, "The Slaves;" and with 
the discussion given in his 
''Kentucky Preceptor,'' 
"Which has the Most to com- 


__ T . . _ _ . plain of, the Indian or the 

Mr. Lamar was a. young boy in Spencer County - 1 " 
when Lincoln left Indiana, but was old enough NegrO % " all of which tradition 
to have seen much of him and to have known his j i -u f j f rpr . p( , f 
characteristics and his reputation in the county. CieCiareS Ue WaS lOnCl 01 repeat- 
He is still living near his old home, ing. It is not impossible that, 



An Indiana acquaintance of Lincoln, still living 
near Gentryville. " Mr. Brooner's mother was a 
friend of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. In the fall of 
1818 Mrs. Brooner was very sick, and Mrs. Lincoln 
called to see., her. The sick woman was very de- 
spondent, and said : ' Mrs. Lincoln, I am going to 
die. Yon will not see me again while living. 1 
1 Tut te tut. You must not say that. Why, you 
will live longer than I. So cheer up, 1 answered 
Mrs. Lincoln. Then, after a few parting words, 
Mrs. Lincoln went home. The next day she was 
very ill and in a few days she died. A few days 
later Mrs. Brooner died. When the tombstone 
was placed at Mrs. Lincoln's grave, no one could 
state positively which was Mrs. Brooner's and 
which Mrs. Lincoln's grave. Mr. Allen Brooner 
gave his opinion, and the stone was placed ; but the 
iron fence encloses both graves, which lie in a half- 
acre tract of land owned by the United States Gov- 
ernment. Mr. Allen Brooner, after his mother's 
death, became a minister of the United Brethren 
Church, and moved to Illinois. Like all of the old 
settlers of Gentryville, he remembers the departure 
of the Lincolns for Illinois. 'When the Lin- 
colns were getting ready to leave, 1 says Mr. 
Brooner, 'Abraham and his step-brother, John 
Johnston, came over to our house to swap a horse 
for a yoke of oxen. John did all the talking. If 
any one had been asked that day which would 
make the greatest success in life, I think the 
answer would have been John Johnston. 1 " * 

* From an unpublished MS. by A. 

as Frederick Douglas first real- 
ized his own condition in read- 
ing a school-speaker, the "Co- 
lumbian Orator," so Abraham 
Lincoln first felt the wrong of 
slavery in reading his "Ameri- 
can Preceptor." 

Lincoln was not only win- 
ning in these days in the Jones 
grocery store a reputation as a 
talker and story-teller ; he was 
becoming known as a kind of 
backwoods orator. He could 
repeat with effect all the poems 
and speeches in his various 
school-readers, he could imitate 
to perfection the wandering 
preachers who came to Gentry- 
ville, and he could make a 
political speech so stirring that 
he drew r a c r o w d about him 
every time he mounted a stump. 
The applause he won w r as sweet ; 
and frequently he indulged his 
gifts when he ought to have been 
at work — so thought his employ- 
ers and Thomas his father. It 
was trying, no doubt, to the 
hard-pushed farmers, to see the 
men wdio ought to have been 
cutting grass or chopping wood 
throw down their sickles or axes 
and group around a boy, when- 
ever he mounted a stump to de- 
velop a pet theory or repeat 
with variations yesterday's ser- 
mon. In his fondness for speech- 
making he attended all the trials 
of the neighborhood, and fre- 
quently walked fifteen miles to 
Boonville to attend court. 






These lines were written on a leaf of a copy-book in which Lincoln wrote out the tables of weights and 
measures, and the sums in connection with them. His step-mother, Sarah Bush Lincoln, gave the leaf, 
with a few others from the book, to Mr. Herndon. It is now owned by Jesse W. Weik. 

He wrote as well as spoke, and some of his productions were 
even printed, through the influence of his admiring neighbors. 
Thus a local Baptist preacher was so struck with one of Abra- 
ham's essays on temperance that he sent it to Ohio, where it 
appeared in some paper. Another article, on " National Poli- 
tics," so pleased a lawyer of the vicinity that he declared the 
" world couldn't beat it." 


In considering the different opportunities for development 
which the boy had at this time, his months spent on the Ohio as 
a ferryman and his trips down the Mississippi should not be for- 
gotten. In fact, all that Abraham Lincoln saw of men and the 
world outside of Gentry ville and its neighborhood, until after he 
was twenty-one years of age, he saw on these rivers. For many 
years the Ohio and the Mississippi were the Appian Way, the 
one route to the world for the Western settlers. To preserve it 
they had been willing in early times to go to war with Spain or 
with France, to secede from the Union, even to join Spain or 
France against the United States if either country would insure 
their right to their highway. In the long years in which the own- 
ership of the great river was unsettled, every man of them had 
come to feel with Benjamin Franklin, " a neighbor might as well 
ask me to sell my street-door. ' ' In fact, this water-way was their 
" street-door," and all that many of them ever saw of the world 
passed here. Up and down the rivers was a continual movement. 
Odd craft of every kind possible on a river went by: "arks" 


ilWUtiuun loMmum 


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13 1, °l 7 to < ' 
1 2 7 ? * .«" . .! 

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i fJS. 

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12 j^ 

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and "sleds," with tidy 
cabins where families 
lived, and where one 
con Id see the washing 
stretched, the children 
playing, the mother on 
pleasant days rocking 
and sewing ; keel-boats, 
which dodged in and out 
and turned inquisitive 
noses up all the creeks 
and bayous ; great fleets 
from the Alleghanies, 
made up of a score or 
more of timber rafts, and 
manned by forty or fifty 
rough boatmen; "Or- 
leans boats," loaded with 
flour, hogs, produce of all 
kinds ; pirogues, made 
from great trees; "broad- 
horns;" curious nonde- 
scripts worked by a 
wheel; and, after 1812, 

Ail this traffic was 
leisurely. Men had time to tie up and tell the news and show 
their wares. Even the steamboats loitered as it pleased them. 
They knew no schedule. They stopped anywhere to let passen- 
gers off. They tied up wherever it was convenient, to wait for 
fresh wood to be cut and loaded, or for repairs to be made. 
Waiting for repairs seems, in fact, to have absorbed a great deal 
of the time of these early steamers. They were continually run- 
ning on to "sawyers," or "planters," or " wooden islands," and 
they blew up with a regularity which was monotonous. Even as 
late as 1842, when Charles Dickens made the trip down the Mis- 
sissippi, he was often gravely recommended to keep as far aft as 
possible, "because the steamboats generally blew up forward." 

It was this varied river life with which Abraham Lincoln 
came into contact as a ferryman and boatman. Who can believe 
that he could see it and be part of it without learning much of 


The store in Gentryville in which Lincoln first made his 
reputation as a debater and story-teller was owned by Mr. 
Jones. The year before the Lincolns moved to Illinois 
Abraham clerked in the store, and it is said that when he 
left Indiana Mr. Jones sold him a pack of goods which he 
peddled on his journey. Mr. Jones was the representative 
from Spencer County in the State legislature from 18:38 to 
1841. He is no longer living. His son, Captain William 
Jones, is still in Gentryville. 



the life and the world beyond him ? Every time a steamboat 
or raft tied up near Anderson Creek and he with his companions 
boarded it and saw its mysteries and talked with its crew, every 
time he rowed out with passengers to a passing steamer, who can 
doubt that he came away with new ideas and fresh energy ? The 
trips to New Orleans were, to a thoughtful boy, an education of 
no mean value. It was the most cosmopolitan and brilliant city 
of the United States at that date, and there young Lincoln saw 
life at its intensest. 



spite of the crudeness of these early opportuni- 
ties for learning ; in spite of the fact that he had 
no wise direction, that he was brought up by a 
father with no settled purpose, and that he lived 
in a pioneer community, where a young man's 
life at best is but a series of makeshifts, Lincoln 
soon developed a determination to make some- 
thing out of himself, and a desire to know, 
which led him to neglect no opportunity to learn. 
The only unbroken outside influence which directed and stim- 
ulated him in his ambitions was that coming first from his 
mother, then from his step-mother. These two women, both of 
them of unusual earnestness and sweetness of spirit, were one 
or the other of them at his side throughout his youth and young 
manhood. The ideal they held before him was the simple ideal 
of the early American, that if a boy is upright and industrious 
he may aspire to any place within the gift of the country. The 
boy's nature told him they were right. Everything he read con- 
firmed their teachings, and he cultivated, in every way open to 
him, his passion to know and to be something. 

There are many proofs that Lincoln's characteristics were rec- 
ognized at this period by his associates ; that his determination 
to excel, if not appreciated, yet made its imprint. In 1865, thirty- 
five years after he left Gentry ville, a biographer, anxious to save 
all that was known of Lincoln in Indiana, went among his old 
associates, and with a sincerity and thoroughness worthy of 


From a photograph in the possession of Mr. Stuart Brown of Springfield, Illinois. The original of this photograph 
was bought in 1860, in a Springfield gallery, by Mr. D. McWilliarns of Dwight, Illinois. Mr. McWilliams sent the 
picture to Mr. Milton Hay Jopingfield, an intimate friend of Mr. Lincoln's, and from him received the following letter : " I 
am greatly pleased with this picture of Lincoln. I think it reproduces the man as he was, in the sober expression most 
habitual with him, better than any other photograph I have seen of him ; and this is the opinion of all the old familiar 
acquaintances of his to whom I have shown it." 


respect, interviewed them. At 
that time there were still living 
numbers of the people with whom 
Lincoln had been brought up. 
They all remembered something 
of him. It is curious to note that 
all of these people tell of his doing 
something different from what 
other boys did, something suffi- 
ciently superior to have made a 
keen impression upon them. In 
almost every case each person had 
his own special reason for admir- 
ing Lincoln. A facility in making 
rhymes and writing essays was the 
admiration of many, who con- 
sidered it the more remarkable 
because ' ' essays and poetry were 
not taught in school," and "Abe 
took it up on his own account." 

Many others were struck by the 
clever use he made of his gift for 
writing. The wit he showed in 
taking revenge for a social slight 
by a satire on the Grigsbys, who had failed to invite him to a 
wedding, made a lasting impression in Gentryville. That he 
should write so well as to be able to humiliate his enemies more 
deeply than if he had resorted to the method of taking revenge 
current in the country, and thrashed them, seemed to his friends 
a mark of surprising superiority. 

Others remembered his quick- wittedness in helping his 

"We are indebted to Kate Roby," says Mr. Herndon, "for 
an incident which illustrates alike his proficiency in orthography 
and his natural inclination to help another out of the mire. The 
word ' defied ' had been given out by Schoolmaster Crawford, but 
had been misspelled several times when it came Miss Roby's 
turn. ' Abe stood on the opposite side of the room,' related Miss 
Roby to me in 1865, ' and was watching me. I began d-e-f— , and 
then I stopped, hesitating whether to proceed with an i or a y. 
Looking up, I beheld Abe, a grin covering his face, and pointing 


Son of James Taylor, for whom Lin- 
coln ran the ferry-boat at the mouth of 
Anderson Creek. Mr. Taylor, now in his 
eighty-second year, lives in South Dakota. 
He remembers Mr. Lincoln perfectly, and 
says that his father hired Abraham Lincoln 
for one year, at six dollars a month, and that 
he was "well pleased with the boy." 



with his index finger to his eye. I took the hint, spelled the 
word with an i, and it went through all right.' " 

This same Miss Roby it was who said of Lincoln, "He was 
better read then than the world knows or is likely to know 
exactly. ... He often and often commented or talked to 
me about what he had read — seemed to read it out of the book 
as he went along — did so to others. He was the learned boy 
among us unlearned folks. He took great pains to explain ; 
could do it so simply. He was diffident then, too." 

One man was impressed by the character of the sentences he 
had given him for a copy. "It was considered at that time," 
said he, "that Abe _^^*,^^^ 

was the best penman 
in the neighborhood. 
One day, while he 
was on a visit at my 
mother's, I asked him 
to write some copies 
for me. He very will- 
ingly consented. He 
wrote several of them, 
but one of them I have 
never forgotten, al- 
though a boy at that 
time. It was this : 

" ' Good boys who to their 
books apply 
Will all be great men 
by and by.'" 

All of his comrades 
remembered his stories 
and his clearness in 
argument. "When 
he appeared in com- 
pany,' ' says Nat 

Grigsby, "the boys would gather and cluster around him to hear 
him talk. Mr. Lincoln was figurative in his speech, talks, and 
conversation. He argued much from analogy, and explained 
things hard for us to understand by stories, maxims, tales, and 
figures. He would almost always point his lesson or idea by 


This cabinet is now in the possession of Captain J. W. Wart- 
man of Evansville, Indiana. It is of walnut, two feet in height, 
and very well put together. Thomas Lincoln is said to have aided 
his son in making it. 




From a photograph loaned by W. W. Admire of Chicago. This little log church, or "meetin' house," 
is where the Lincolns attended services in Indiana. The pulpit is said to have been made by Thomas 
Lincoln. The building was razed about fifteen years ago, after having been used for several years as a 
tobacco barn. 

some story that was plain and near ns, that we might instantly 
see the force and bearing of what he said." 

There are many proofs that he was an authority on all sub- 
jects, even the country jockeys bringing him their stories and 
seeking to inspire his enthusiasm. Captain John Lamar of 
Gentryville, who was a very small boy in the neighborhood 
when Lincoln was a young man, is still fond of describing a 
scene he witnessed once, which shows with what care even the 
"heroes " of the country tried to impress young Lincoln. " Uncle 
Jimmy Larkins, as everybody called him," says Mr. Lamar, 
' ' was a great hero in my childish eyes. Why, I cannot now 
say, without it was his manners. There had been a big fox- 
chase, and Uncle Jimmy was telling about it. Of course he 
was the hero. I was only a little shaver, and I stood in front 
of Uncle Jimmy, looking up into his eyes ; but he never noticed 
me. He looked at Abraham Lincoln, and said : ' Abe, I've got 
the best horse in the world ; he won the race and never drew 
a long breath.' But Abe paid no attention to Uncle Jimmy, 



From a photograph made for this work. When Abraham Lincoln left Indiana, in 1830, his friend 
James Gentry planted, in remembrance of him, near the Lincoln cabin, a cedar tree. It still stands, sturdy 
and strong, though it is stripped of twigs as high as one can reach. Those who point out the tree explain 
the bareness by saying : "The folks who come lookin' around have taken twigs until you can't reach any 
more very handy." 

and I got mad at the big, overgrown fellow, and wanted him 
to listen to my hero's story. Uncle Jimmy was determined 
that Abe should hear, and repeated the story. 'I say, Abe, 
I have the best horse in the world; after all that running 
he never drew a long breath.' Then Abe, looking down at my 
little dancing hero, said: 'Well, Larkins, why don't you tell 
us how many short breaths he drew ? ' This raised a laugh on 
Uncle Jimmy, and he got mad, and declared he'd fight Abe if he 
wasn't so big. He jumped around until Abe quietly said: 
'Now, Larkins, if you don't shut up I'll throw you in that 
water.' I was very uneasy and angry at the way my hero was 
treated, but I lived to change my views about heroes" 


There is one other testimony to his character as a boy which 
should not be omitted. It is that of his stepmother : 

' ' Abe was a good boy, and I can say what scarcely one 
woman — a mother — can say in a thousand : Abe never gave me a 
cross word or look, and never refused, in fact or appearance, to 
do anything I requested him. I never gave him a cross word in 
all my life. . . . His mind and mine — what little I had — 
seemed to run together. He was here after he was elected Presi- 
dent. He was a dutiful son to me always. I think he loved me 
truly. I had a son, John, who was raised with Abe. Both were 
good boys ; but I must say, both now being dead, that Abe was 
the best boy I ever saw, or expect to see." 



From a photograph made for this work. The route by which the Lincolns went into Illinois from 
Indiana has always been a question in dispute. Some of the acquaintances of the family still living in 
Indiana claim that they followed the line marked on our map (page 45). Others say that they went from 
Gentryville to the Old Post Ford across the Wabash. The route on the map was drawn on the supposi- 
tion that they would have taken the road by which they would have avoided the greatest number of water- 
courses. Information has come to us since the map was made which shows that they went by Vincennes. 
Mr. Jesse W. Weik says that Dennis Hanks, who was in the party, told him in 1886 that they went through 
Vincennes. Colonel Chapman of Charleston, the grandson of Sarah Bush Lincoln, told Mr. Weik that 
in February, 1861, when Mr. Lincoln visited his mother for the last time, he told him that the settlers 
passed through Vincennes, where they remained a day. There, Lincoln said, they saw a printing-press for 
the first time. At Palestine, on the Illinois side of the Wabash, he remembered seeing a large crowd 
around the United States Land Office, and a travelling juggler performing sleight-of-hand tricks. We also 
know that they entered Decatur from the south, near the present line of the Illinois Central. This Mr. 
Lincoln told Mr. H. C. Whitney. 



F Abraham Lincoln' s early struggle for both liveli- 
hood and education was rough and hard, his life 
was not without amusements. At home the rude 
household was overflowing with life. There were 
Abraham and his sister, a stepbrother and two 
stepsisters, and a cousin of Nancy Hanks Lin- 
coln, Dennis Hanks, whom misfortune had made 
an inmate of the Lincoln home— quite enough to 
plan sports and mischief and keep time from 
growing dull. Thomas Lincoln and Dennis Hanks were both 
famous story-tellers, and the Lincolns spent many a cozy even- 
ing about their cabin fire, repeating the stories they knew. 


From a photograph taken for this work. Sarah, or Nancy, Lincoln was born in Elizabethtown, 
Kentucky, in 1807. In 1826 she married Aaron Grigsby, and a year later died. She was buried not far 
from Gentryville, in what is now called "Old Pigeon Cemetery. 1 '' Her grave is marked by the rude stone 
directly over the star. The marble monument in the centre is that of her husband. 



Photographed for this work from the origi- 
nals, in the United States National Museum at 
Washington. Corn-husks were used by the pio- 
neers of the West to make brooms, brushes, mats, 
and horse-collars. 

Hanks, who says : " No doubt 
abont A. Lincoln's killing the 
turkey. He done it with his 
father's rifle, made by Wil- 
liam Lutes of Bullitt County, 
Kentucky. I have killed a 
hundred deer with her my- 
self ; turkeys too numerous 
to mention." 

But there were many other 
country sports which he en- 
joyed to the full. He went 
swimming in the evenings ; 
fished with the other boys in 

* Preserved in " Abraham Lincoln, 
lay and John Hay. Volume I., page 639. 

Of course the boys hunted. 
Not that Abraham ever became 
a true sportsman ; indeed, he 
seems to have lacked the genu- 
ine sporting instinct. In a curi- 
ous autobiography, written 
entirely in the third person, 
which Mr. Lincoln prepared at 
the request of a friend in I860,* 
he says of his exploits as a 
hunter : " A few days before the 
completion of his eighth year, 
in the absence of his father, a 
flock of wild turkeys approached 
the new log cabin ; and Abra- 
ham, with a rifle gun, standing- 
inside, shot through a crack and 
killed one of them. He has 
never since pulled the trigger 
on any larger game." This ex- 
ploit is confirmed by Dennis 


This chair was made from rails split by Abraham 
Lincoln when he was living in Spencer County, In- 
Complete Works." Edited by John G. Nico- 
The Century Company. 



Pigeon Creek, and caught chubs and suckers enough to delight 
any boy ; he wrestled, jumped, and ran races at the noon rests. 
He was present at every country horse-race and fox-chase. 
The sports he preferred were those which brought men to- 
gether : the spelling-school, the husking-bee, the "raising;" and 
of all these he was the life by his wit, his stories, his good 
nature, his doggerel verses, his practical jokes, and by a rough 
kind of politeness — for even in Indiana in those times there was 
a notion of politeness, and one of Lincoln's schoolmasters had 
even given "lessons in manners." Lincoln seems to have 
profited in a degree by them ; for Mrs. Crawford, at whose home 
he worked some time, declares that he always "lifted his hat 
and bowed" when he made his appearance. 

There was, of course, a rough gallantry among the young 
people ; and Lincoln's old comrades and friends in Indiana have 
left many tales of how he " went to see the girls," of how he 
brought in the biggest back-log and made the brightest fire ; then 
of how the young people, sitting around it, watching the way the 

sparks flew, told 
their fortunes. 
He helped pare 
apples, shell corn, 
and crack nuts. 
He took the girls 
to meeting and to 
spelling-school , 
though he was not 
often allowed to 
take part in the 
for the one who 
"chose first" 
always chose 
"Abe Lincoln," 
and that was 
equivalent to win- 
ning, as the others 


Drawn for this work from the original articles, in the United States WOUld Stand. Up 

National Museum, through the courtesy of the director, Mr. G. Brown the longest." 

Goode. The articles in the group are a hominy mortar and pestle, water —* _ _ _ _ v _ „ ±. 

gourd and gourd dipper, wooden pails and tub, and a wooden piggin. *■ "6 n e a Y 6 S I 




approach to sentiment at this time, of which we know, is re- 
corded in a story Lincoln once told to an acquaintance in Spring- 
field. It was a rainy day, and he was sitting with his feet on the 
window-sill, his eyes on the street, watching the rain. Suddenly 
he looked np and said : 

" Did you ever write out a story in your mind % I did when 
I was a little codger. One day a wagon with a lady and two 
girls and a man broke down near us, and while they were fixing 
up, they cooked in our kitchen. The woman had books and 
read us stories, and they were the first I ever had heard. I took 
a great fancy to one of the girls ; and when they were gone I 
thought of her a great deal, and one day when I was sitting out 
in the sun by the house I wrote out a story in my mind. I 
thought I took my father's horse and followed the wagon, and 
finally I found it, and they were surprised to see me. I talked 
with the girl and persuaded her to elope with me ; and that 
night I put her on my horse, and we started off across the prairie. 
After several hours we came to a camp ; and when we rode up 
we found it was the one we had left a few hours before, and we 



Lincoln's first home in Illinois. 

After a photograph owned by H. E. Barker of Springfield, Illinois. A printed description accom- 
panying the photograph says : " The above is an exact reproduction of a photograph taken in 1865 of 
Abraham Lincoln's cabin on the banks of the Sangamon River. The cabin was located upon Section 28, 
Harristown Township, Macon County, Illinois." The genuineness of the picture is attested by the Hon. 
Richard J. Oglesby, at that time Governor of Illinois. 

went in. The next night we tried again, and the same thing 
happened— the horse came back to the same place ; and then we 
concluded that we ought not to elope. I stayed until I had per- 
suaded her father to give her to me. I always meant to write 
that story out and publish it, and I began once ; but I concluded 
it was not much of a story. But I think that was the beginning 
of love with me."* 


His life had its tragedies as well as its touch of romance — 
tragedies so real and profound that they gave dignity to all the 
crudeness and poverty which surrounded him, and quickened 

* Interview with Mr. T. W. S. Kidd of Springfield, Illinois, editor of " The 
Morning Monitor." 




This broad-axe is said to have been 
owned originally by Abram Bales of New 
Salem ; and, according to tradition, it was 
bought from him by Lincoln. After Lin- 
coln forsook the woods, he sold the axe 
to one Mr. Irvin. Mr. L. W. Bishop of 
Petersburg now has the axe, having got- 
ten it directly from Mr. Irvin. There are 
a number of affidavits attesting its genu- 
ineness. The axe has evidently seen hard 
usage, and is now covered with a thick 
coat of rust. 

and intensified the melancholy tem- 
perament he had inherited from his 
mother. Away back in 1816, when 
Thomas Lincoln had started to find a 
farm in Indiana, bidding his wife be 
ready to go into the wilderness on 
his return, Nancy Lincoln had taken 
her boy and girl to a tiny grave, that 
of her youngest child ; and the three 
had there said good-by to a little one 
whom the children had scarcely 
known, but for whom the mother's 
grief was so keen that the boy never 
forgot the scene. 

Two years later he saw his father 
make a green pine box and put his 
dead mother into it, and he saw her 
buried not far from their cabin, 
almost without prayer. Young as 
he was, it was his efforts, it is said, which brought a parson from 
Kentucky, three months later, to preach the sermon and conduct, 
the service which seemed to the child a necessary honor to the 
dead.* As sad as the death of his mother was that of his only 
sister, Sarah. Married to Aaron Grigsby in 1826, she had died a 
year and a half later in child-birth, a death which to her brother 
must have seemed a horror and a mystery. 

Apart from these family sorrows there was all the crime and 
misery of the community — all of which came to his ears and 
awakened his nature. He even saw in those days one of his 
companions go suddenly mad. The young man never recovered 
his reason, but sank into idiocy. All night he would croon 
plaintive songs, and Lincoln himself tells how, fascinated by this 
mysterious malady, he used to rise before daylight to cross the 
fields and listen to this funeral dirge of the reason. In spite of 
the poverty and rudeness of his life the depth of his nature was 
unclouded. He could feel intensely, and his imagination was 
quick to respond to the touch of mystery. 

* It still happens frequently in the mountain districts of Tennessee that the 
funeral services are not held until months after the burial. A gentleman who has 
lived much in the South tells of a man marrying a second wife at a decent interval 
after the death of his first, but still before the funeral of the first had taken place. 



N the sirring of 1830, when Abraham was twenty- 
one years old, his father, Thomas Lincoln, de- 
cided to leave Indiana. The reason Dennis 
Hanks gives for this removal was a disease 
called the "milk-sick." Abraham Lincoln's 
mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, and several of 
their relatives who had followed them from 
Kentucky had died of it. The cattle had been 
carried off by it. Neither brnte nor human life 
seemed to be safe. As Dennis Hanks says : " This was reason 
enough (ain't it?) for leaving." Any one who has travelled 
through the portions of Spencer County in which the Lincolns 
settled will respect Thomas Lincoln for his energy in moving. 
When covered with timber, as the land was when he chose his 
farm, it no doubt promised well; but fourteen years of hard 
labor showed him that the soil was niggardly and the future 
of the country unpromising. To-day, sixty-five years since the 
Lincolns left Spencer County, the country remains as it was then, 
dull, commonplace, unfruitful. The towns show no signs of 
energy or prosperity. There are no leading streets or build- 
ings ; no man's house is better than his neighbor's, and every 
man's house is ordinary. For a long distance on each side of 
Gentryville, as one passes by rail, no superior farm is to be seen, 
no prosperous mine or manufactory. It is a dead, monotonous 
country, where no possibilities of quick wealth have been dis- 
covered, and which only centuries of tilling and fertilizing can 
make prosperous. Thomas Lincoln did well to leave Indiana. 

The place chosen for their new home was the Sangamon 
country in central Illinois. It was at that day a country of great 
renown in the West, the name meaning " The land where there 
is plenty to eat." One of the family — John Hanks, a cousin of 
Dennis — was already there, and the inviting reports he had sent 
to Indiana were no doubt what led the Lincolns to decide on 
Illinois as their future home. 

Gentryville saw young Lincoln depart with real regret, and 



his friends gave him a score of 
rude proofs that he would not 
be forgotten. Even to-day there 
is not a family living in and 
around Gentry ville, who remem- 
bers the Lincolns at all, who 
has not some legend to repeat 
of their departure. They tell 
how in those days "neighbors 
were like relatives," and every- 
body offered some kindly ser- 
vice to the movers as a parting 
sign of good-will. The eifiire 
Lincoln family was invited to 
spend the last night before 
starting, with Mr. Gentry. He 
was so loath to part with Lin- 
coln that he ' ' accompanied the 
movers along the road a spell." 
After they were gone, one of 
his sons, James Gentry, planted 
a cedar tree in memory of Abra- 
ham, which now marks the site 
of the Lincoln home. 

The spot on the hill over- 
looking Buckthorn valley, 
where the Lincolns said good-by 
to their old home and to the 

home of Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, to the grave of the mother and 
wife, to all their neighbors and friends, is still pointed out. 
Buckthorn valley held many recollections dear to them all, but 
to no one of the company was the place dearer than to Abraham. 
It is certain that he felt the parting keenly, and he certainly 
never forgot his years in the Hoosier State. One of the most 
touching experiences he relates in all his published letters is 
his emotion at visiting his old Indiana home fourteen years after 
he had left it. So strongly was he moved by the scenes of his 
first conscious sorrows, efforts, joys, ambitions, that he put into 
verse the feelings they awakened.* 

* Letter to Johnston, April 18, 1846. "Abraham Lincoln. Complete AVorks." 

Edited by John G. Nicolay and John Hay. Volume I., pages 86, 87. The Century Co. 


Born in Green Village, New Jersey, June 4, 
1814. He went to Illinois in 1830, the year in 
which Mr. Lincoln went, settling in Sangamon 
town, where he had relatives. It was here he 
met Lincoln, and made the "pins" for the flat- 
boat. Later Mr. Roll went to Springfield. A 
quarter of the city is now known as "Roll's 
addition." Mr. Roll was well acquainted with 
Lincoln, and when the President left Springfield 
he gave Mr. Roll his dog Fido. Mr. Roll knew 
Stephen A. Douglas well, and carries a watch 
which once belonged to the " Little Giant." 



While lie never at- 
tempted to conceal the 
poverty and hardship of 
these days, and would 
speak humorously of the 
"pretty pinching times" 

\he saw, he never regard- 
f ./ ) i ed his life at this time 
as mean or pitiable. Fre- 
quently he talked to his 
friends in later days of 
his boyhood, and always 
with apparent pleasure. 
"Mr. Lincoln told this 
story" (of his youth), 
says Leonard Swett, "as 
the story of a happy 
childhood. There was 
nothing sad or pinched, 
and nothing of want, and 
no allusion to want in 
any part of it. His own 
description of his youth 
was that of a joyous, 
happy boyhood. It was told with mirth and glee, and illus- 
trated by pointed anecdote, often interrupted by his jocund 

And he was right. There was nothing ignoble or mean in this 
Indiana pioneer life. It was rude, but with only the rudeness 
which the ambitious are willing to endure in order to push on to 
a better condition than they otherwise could know. These people 
did not accept their hardships apathetically. They did not 
regard them as permanent. They were only the temporary 
deprivations necessary in order to accomplish what they had 
home into the country to do. For this reason they endured 
copefully all that was hard. It is worth notice, too, that there 
was nothing belittling in their life ; there was no pauperism, no 
shirking. Each family provided for its own simple wants, and 
had the conscious dignity which comes from being equal to a 
situation. If their lives lacked culture and refinement, they were 
rich in independence and self-reliance. 


Drawn for this work by J. McCan Davis, 
the aid of Mr. John E. Roll, a former resident 

From a photograph in the collection of H. W. Fay, De Kalb, Illinois. The original was 
made by S. M. Fassett of Chicago ; the negative was destroyed in the Chicago fire. This 
picture was made at the solicitation of D. B. Cook, who says that Mrs. Lincoln pronounced it 
the best likeness she had ever seen of her husband. Eajon used the Fassett picture as the 
original of his etching, and Kruell has made a fine engraving of it. 



The company which emigrated to Illinois included the family 
of Thomas Lincoln and those of Dennis Hanks and Levi Hall, mar- 
ried to Lincoln' s step-sisters — thirteen persons in all. They sold 
land, cattle, and grain, and much of their household goods, and 
were ready in March of 1830 for their journey. All the posses- 
sions which the three families had to take with them were packed 
into a big wagon — the first one Thomas Lincoln had ever owned, 
it is said — to which four oxen were attached, and the caravan was 
ready. The weather was still cold, the streams were swollen, and 
the roads were muddy ; but the party started out bravely. Inured 
to hardships, alive to all the new sights on their route, every 
day brought them amusement and adventures, and especially to 
young Lincoln the journey must have been of keen interest. 

He drove the oxen on this trip, he tells us, and, according to 
a story current in Gentryville, he succeeded in doing a fair ped- 
dler' s business on the route. Captain William Jones, in whose 
father' s store Lincoln had spent so many hours in discussion and 
in story-telling, and for whom he had worked the last winter he 
was in Indiana, says that before leaving the State Abraham in- 
vested all his money, some thirty-odd dollars, in notions. 
Though the country through which they expected to pass was 
but sparsely settled, he believed he could dispose of them. "A 
set of knives and forks was the largest item entered on the bill," 
says Captain Jones ; " the other items were needles, pins, thread, 
buttons, and other little domestic necessities. When the Lin- 
colns reached their new home, near Decatur, Illinois, Abraham 
wrote back to my father, stating that he had doubled his money 
on his purchases by selling them along the road. Unfortunately 
we did not keep that letter, not thinking how highly we would 
have prized it years afterwards." 

The pioneers were a fortnight on their journey. All we know 
of the route they took is from a few chance remarks of Lincoln' s 
to his friends to the effect that they passed through Vincennes, 
where they saw a printing-press for the first time, and through 
Palestine, where they saw a juggler performing sleight-of-hand 
tricks. They reached Macon County, their new home, from the 
south. Mr. H. C. Whitney says that once in Decatur he and 
Lincoln passed the court-house together. " Lincoln walked out a 
few feet in front, and, after shifting his position two or three 




The inscription above this model, which is shown to all visitors to the Model Hall of the Patent Office, 
reads : " 6469, Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois. Improvement in method of lifting vessels over shoals. 
Patented May 22, 1849." The apparatus consists of a bellows placed in each side of the hull of the craft, 
just below the water-line, and worked by an odd but simple system of ropes and pulleys. When the keel 
of the vessel grates against the sand or obstruction, the bellows is filled with air ; and, thus buoyed up, the 
vessel is expected to float over the shoal. The model is about eighteen or twenty inches k>ng, and looks as 
if it had been whittled with a knife out of a shingle and a cigar box. There is no elaboration in the appa- 
ratus beyond that necessary to show the operation of buoying the vessel over the obstructions. 

times, said, as he looked up at the building, partly to himself 
and partly to me : 'Here is the exact spot where I stood by our 
wagon when we moved from Indiana, twenty-six years ago ; this 
isn't six feet from the exact spot.' ... I asked him if he, 
at that time, had expected to be a lawyer and practise law in that 
court-house ; to which he replied : ' No ; I didn't know I had 
sense enough to be a lawyer then.' He then told me he had fre- 
quently thereafter tried to locate the route by which they had 
come, and that he had decided that it was near the main line of 
the Illinois Central Railroad." 

The party settled some ten miles west of Decatur, in Macon 


County. Here John Hanks had the logs already cut for their 
new home, and Lincoln, Dennis Hanks, and Hall soon had a 
cabin erected. Mr. Lincoln says in his short autobiography of 
1860, which he wrote in the third person: "Here they built a 
log cabin, into which they removed, and made sufficient of rails 
to fence ten acres of ground, fenced and broke the ground, and 
raised a crop of sown corn upon it the same year. These are, or 
are supposed to be, the rails about which so much is being said 
just now, though these are far from being the first or only rails 
ever made by Abraham." 

If they were far from being his "first and only rails," they 
certainly were the most famous ones he or anybody else ever 
split. This was the last work he did for his father, for in the 
summer of that year (1830) he exercised the right of majority 
and started out to shift for himself. When he left his home, 
he went empty-handed. He was already some months over 
twenty-one years of age, but he had nothing in the world, not 
even a suit of respectable clothes ; and one of the first pieces of 
work he did was ' k to split four hundred rails for every yard of 
brown jeans dyed with white-walnut bark that would be neces- 
sary to make him a pair of trousers." He had no trade, no 
profession, no spot of land, no patron, no influence. Two things 
recommended him to his neighbors — he was strong, and he was 
a good fellow. 

His strength made him a valuable laborer. Not that he was 
fond of hard labor. Mrs. Crawford says : "Abe was no hand to 
pitch into work like killing snakes ;" but when he did work, it 
was with an ease and effectiveness which compensated his em- 
ployer for the time he spent in practical jokes and extempora- 
neous speeches. He would lift as much as three ordinary men, 
and "My, how he would chop!" says Dennis Hanks. "His 
axe would flash and bite into a sugar- tree or sycamore, and down 
it would come. If you heard him f ellin' trees in a clearin' , you 
would say there was three men at work by the way the trees fell." 

Standing six feet four, he could out-lift, out-work, and out- 
wrestle any man he came in contact with. Friends and employers 
were proud of his prowess, and boasted of it, never failing to pit 
him against any hero whose strength they heard vaunted. He 
himself was proud of it, and throughout his life was fond of com- 
paring himself with tall and strong men. When the committee 
called on him in Springfield, in 1860, to notify him of his nomina- 


tion as President, Governor Morgan of New York was of the 
number, a man of great height and brawn. "Pray, Governor, 
how tall may you be ?" was Mr. Lincoln's first question. There 
is a story told of a poor man seeking a favor from him once at 
the White House. He was overpowered by the idea that he 
was in the presence of the President, and, his errand done, was 
edging shyly out, when Mr. Lincoln stopped him, insisting that 
he measure with him. The man was the taller, as Mr. Lincoln 
had thought ; and he went away evidently as much abashed that 
he dared be taller than the President of the United States as 
that he had dared to venture into his presence. 

Governor Hoyt tells an excellent story illustrating this inter- 
est of Lincoln's in manly strength, and his involuntary compari- 
son of himself with whoever showed it. It was in 1859, after 
Lincoln had delivered a speech at the Wisconsin State Agricul- 
tural Fair in Milwaukee. Governor Hoyt had asked him to make 
the rounds of the exhibits, and they went into a tent to see a 
' ' strong man ' ' perform. He went through the ordinary exercises 
with huge iron balls, tossing them in the air and catching them, 
and rolling them on his arms and back ; and Mr. Lincoln, who 
evidently had never before seen such a combination of agility 
and strength, watched him with intense interest, ejaculating 
under his breath now and then, "By George! By George!" 
When the performance was over, Governor Hoyt, seeing Mr. 
Lincoln's interest, asked him to go up and be introduced to the 
athlete. He did so ; and, as he stood looking down musingly on 
the man, who was very short, and evidently wondering that one 
so much smaller than he could be so much stronger, he suddenly 
broke out with one of his quaint speeches. "Why," he said, 
"why, I could lick salt off the top of your hat." 

His strength won him popularity, but his good-nature, his 
wit, his skill in debate, his stories, were still more efficient in 
gaining him good- will. People liked to have him around, and 
voted him a good fellow to work with. Yet such were the con- 
ditions of his life at this time that, in spite of his popularity, 
nothing was open to him but hard manual labor. To take the 
first job which he happened upon — rail-srjlitting, ploughing, 
lumbering, boating, store-keeping — and make the most of it, 
thankful if thereby he earned his bed and board and yearly suit 
of jeans, was apparently all there was before Abraham Lincoln 
in 1830, when he started out for himself. 


From a painting in the State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois. This picture is crude and inaccurate. 
The flatboat built by Lincoln, and by him piloted to New Orleans, was larger than the one here 
portrayed, and the structure over the dam belittles the real mill. There was not only a grist-mill, 
but also a saw-mill. The mill was built in 1899. March 5, 1830, we rind John Overstreet averring 
before the County Commissioners " that John Cameron and James Rutledge have erected a mill-dam 
on the Sangamon River which obstructs the navigation of said river ; " and Cameron and Rutledge 
are ordered to alter the dam so as to restore " safe navigation." James M. Rutledge of Petersburg, 
a nephew of the mill-owner, helped build the mill, and says : "The mill was a frame structure, and 
was solidly built. They used to grind corn mostly, though some flour was made. At times they 
would run day and night. The saw-mill had an old-fashioned upright saw, and stood on the bank." 
For a time this mill was operated by Denton OflEutt, under the supervision of Lincoln. A few stakes, 
a part of the old dam, still show at low water. 



HROUGH the summer and fall of 1830 and the 
early winter of 1831, Mr. Lincoln worked in 
the vicinity of his father's new home, usually 
as a farm-hand and rail-splitter. Most of his 
work was done in company with John Hanks. 
Before the end of the winter he secured em- 
ployment of which he has given an account 
himself, though in the third person : 

''•During that winter Abraham, together with 
his step-mother's son, John D. Johnston, and John Hanks, yet 
residing in Macon County, hired themselves to Denton Offutt to 


take a flatboat from Beard stown, Illinois, to New Orleans, and 
for that purpose were to join him (Offutt) at Springfield, Illinois, 
so soon as the snow should go off. When it did go off, which 
was about March 1, 1831, the country was so flooded as to make 
travelling by land impracticable ; to obviate which difficulty they 
purchased a large canoe and came down the Sangamon River in 
it from where they were all living (near Decatur). This is the 
time and manner of Abraham's first entrance into Sangamon 
County. They found Offutt at Springfield, but learned from him 
that he had failed in getting a boat at Beardstown. This led to 
their hiring themselves to him for twelve dollars per month each, 
and getting the timber out of the trees, and building a boat at 
old Sangamon town, on the Sangamon River, seven miles north- 
west of Springfield, which boat they took to New Orleans, sub- 
stantially on the old contract." 

Sangamon town, where Mr. Lincoln built the flatboat, has, 
since his day, completely disappeared from the earth ; but then 
it was one of the flourishing settlements on the river of that 
name. Lincoln and his friends, on arriving there in March, 
immediately began work. There is still living in Springfield, 
Illinois, a man who helped Lincoln at the raft-building — Mr. 
John Roll, a well-known citizen, and one who has been promi- 
nent in the material advancement of the city. Mr. Roll remem- 
bers distinctly Lincoln's flrst appearance in Sangamon town. 
"He was a tall, gaunt young man," he says, " dressed in a suit 
of blue homespun jeans, consisting of a roundabout jacket, 
waistcoat, and breeches which came to within about four inches 
of his feet. The latter were encased in rawhide boots, into the 
tops of which, most of the time, his pantaloons were stuffed. He 
wore a soft felt hat which had at one time been black, but now, 
as its owner dryly remarked, ' was sunburned until it was a 
combine of colors.' " 

Mr. Roll's relation to the new-comer soon became something 
more than that of a critical observer ; he hired out to him, and 
says with pride, "I made every pin which went into that boat." 

Lincoln's populaeitt in sangamon. 

It took some four weeks to build the raft, and in that period 
Lincoln succeeded in captivating the entire village by his story- 
telling. It was the custom in Sangamon for the " men -folks " to 



This cabin was built by Thomas Lincoln in 1831, on Goose Nest Prairie, in Coles County, Illinois, 
where he had taken up forty acres of land. It was situated nine miles south of Charleston, on what is 
called Lincoln's Lane. Here Thomas Lincoln died in 1851. The cabin was occupied until 1891, when it 
was bought by the Lincoln Log Cabin Association to be shown at the World's Fair in 1893. 

gather at noon and in the evening, when resting, in a convenient 
lane near the mill. They had rolled out a long peeled log, on 
which they lounged while they whittled and talked. Lincoln 
had not been long in Sangamon before he joined this circle. At 
once he became a favorite by his jokes and good-humor. As soon 
as he appeared at the assembly ground the men would start him 
to story-telling. So irresistibly droll were his "yarns" that, 
says Mr. Roll, " whenever he'd end up in his unexpected way the 
boys on the log would whoop and roll off." The result of the 
rolling off was to polish the log like a mirror. The men, recog- 
nizing Lincoln's part in this polishing, christened their seat 
" Abe's log." Long after Lincoln had disappeared from Sanga- 
mon " Abe's log" remained, and until it had rotted away people 
pointed it out, and repeated the droll stories of the stranger. 



The flatboat was done in about a month, and Lincoln and his 
friends prepared to leave Sangamon. Before he started, how- 
ever, he was the hero of an adventure so thrilling that he won 
new laurels in the community. Mr. Roll, who was a witness 
to the whole exciting scene, tells the story : 

" It was the spring following the winter of the deep snow.* 
Walter Carman, John Seamon, myself, and at times others of 
the Carman boys had helped Abe in building the boat, and 
when he had finished we went to work to make a dug-out, or 
canoe, to be used as a small boat with the flat. We found a 
suitable log about an eighth of a mile up the river, and with our 
axes went to work under Lincoln's direction. The river was very 
high, fairly 'booming.' After the dug-out was ready to launch 
we took it to the edge of the water, and made ready to ' let her 
go,' when Walter Carman and John Seamon jumped in as the 
boat struck the water, each one anxious to be the first to get 
a ride. As they shot out from the shore they found they were 
unable to make any headway against the strong current. Car- 
man had the paddle, and Seamon was in the stern of the boat. 
Lincoln shouted to them to ' head up-stream,' and ' work back to 
shore,' but they found themselves powerless against the stream. 
At last they began to pull for the wreck of an old flatboat, the 
first ever built on the Sangamon, which had sunk and gone to 
pieces, leaving one of the stanchions sticking above the w r ater. 
Just as they reached it Seamon made a grab, and caught hold of 
the stanchion, when the canoe capsized, leaving Seamon clinging 
to the old timber, and throwing Carman into the stream. It 
carried him down with the speed of a mill-race. Lincoln raised 
his voice above the roar of the flood, and yelled to Carman to 
swim for an elm tree which stood almost in the channel, which 
the action of the high water changed. 

"Carman, being a good swimmer, succeeded in catching a 
branch, and pulled himself up out of the water, which was very 
cold, and had almost chilled him to death ; and there he sat 
shivering and chattering in the tree. Lincoln, seeing Carman 

* 1830-1831. "The winter of the deep snow " is the date which is the starting 
point in all calculations of time for the early settlers of Illinois, and the circumstance 
from which the old settlers of Sangamon County receive the name by which they are 
generally known, " Snow-birds." 


From a painting in the State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois. New Salem was founded by- 
James Rutledge and John Cameron in 1829. In that year they built a dam across the Sanga- 
mon River, and erected a mill. Under date of October 23, 1829, Reuben Harrison, surveyor, 
certifies that " at the request of John Cameron, one of the proprietors, I did survey the town 
of New Salem." The town within two years contained a dozen or fifteen houses, nearly all 
of them built of logs. New Salem's population probably never exceeded a hundred persons. 
Its inhabitants, and those of the surrounding country, were mostly Southerners — natives of 
Kentucky and Tennessee — though there was an occasional Yankee among them. Soon after 
Lincoln left the place, in the spring of 1837, it began to decline. Petersburg had sprung up 
two miles down the river, and rapidly absorbed its population and business. By 1840 New 
Salem was almost deserted. The Rutledge tavern, the first house erected, was the last to 
succumb. It stood for many years, but at last crumbled away. Salem hill is now only a 
green cow pasture. 

safe, called out to Seam on to let go the stanchion and swim for 
the tree. With some hesitation he obeyed, and struck out, 
while Lincoln cheered and directed him from the bank. As 
Seamon neared the tree he made one grab for a branch, and, 
missing it, went under the water. Another desperate lunge was 
successful, and he climbed up beside Carman. Things were 
pretty exciting now, for there were two men in the tree, and the 
boat was gone. 

" It was a cold, raw April day, and there was great danger of 
the men becoming benumbed and falling back into the water. 
Lincoln called out to them to keep their spirits up and he would 


save them. The village had been alarmed by this time, and 
many people had come down to the bank. Lincoln procured a 
rope, and tied it to a log. He called all hands to come and help 
roll the log into the water, and after this had been done, he, with 
the assistance of several others, towed it some distance up the 
stream. A daring young fellow by the name of ' Jim ' Dorrell 
then took his seat on the end of the log, and it was pushed out 
into the current, with the expectation that it would be carried 
down stream against the tree where Seamon and Carman were. 

"The log was well directed, and went straight to the tree ; but 
Jim, in his impatience to help his friends, fell a victim to his 
good intentions. Making a frantic grab at a branch, he raised 
himself off the log, which was swept from under him by the rag- 
ing water, and he soon joined the other two victims upon their 
forlorn perch. The excitement on shore increased, and almost 
the whole population of the village gathered on the river bank. 
Lincoln had the log pulled up the stream, and, securing another 
piece of rope, called to the men in the tree to catch it if they 
could when he should reach the tree. He then straddled the log 
himself, and gave the word to push out into the stream. When 
he dashed into the tree, he threw the rope over the stump of a 
broken limb, and let it play until he broke the speed of the log, 
and gradually drew it back to the tree, holding it there until the 
three now nearly frozen men had climbed down and seated them- 
selves astride. He then gave orders to the people on the shore 
to hold fast to the end of the rope which was tied to the log, and 
leaving his rope in the tree he turned the log adrift. The 
force of the current, acting against the taut rope, swung the log 
around against the bank, and all ' on board ' were saved. The 
excited people, who had watched the dangerous experiment with 
alternate hope and fear, now broke into cheers for Abe Lincoln 
and praises for his brave act. This adventure made quite a hero 
of him along the Sangamon, and the people never tired of telling 
of the exploit." 


The natboat built and loaded, the party started for New 
Orleans about the middle of April. They had gone but a few 
miles when they met with another adventure. At the village of 
New Salem there was a mill-dam. On it the boat stuck, and here 
for nearly twenty-four hours it hung, the bow in the air and the 



After a painting by Mrs. Bennett ; reproduced, by permission, from " Menard-Salem-Lincoln Souvenir 
Album," Petersburg, Illinois, 1893. The Rutledge and Cameron mill, of which Lincoln at one time had 
charge, stood on the same spot as the mill in the picture, and had the same foundation. From the map on 
page 116 it will be seen that the mill was below the bluff and east of the town. 

stern in the water, the cargo slowly setting backward — shipwreck 
almost certain. The village of "New Salem turned out in a body 
to see what the strangers would do in their predicament. They 
shouted, suggested, and advised for a time, but finally discovered 
that one big fellow in the crew was ignoring them and working 
out a plan of relief. Having unloaded the cargo into a neighbor- 
ing boat, Lincoln had succeeded in tilting his craft, Then, by 
boring a hole in the end extending over the dam, the water was 
let out. This done, the boat was easily shoved over and re- 
loaded. The ingenuity which he had exercised in saving his 
boat made a deep impression on the crowd on the bank, and it 
was talked over for many a day. The proprietor of boat and 
cargo was even more enthusiastic than the spectators, and 
vowed he would build a steamboat for the Sangamon and make 




This costume, worn by Mrs. Lucy M. 
Bennett of Petersburg, Illinois, has been 
a familiar attraction at old settlers 1 
gatherings in Menard County for years. 
The dress was made by Mrs. Hill of 
New Salem ; and the reticule, or work- 
bag, will be readily recognized by those 
who have any recollection of the early 
days. The bonnet occupied a place in 
the store of Samuel Hill at New Salem. 
It was taken from the store by Mrs. 
Hill, worn for a time by her, and has 
been carefully preserved to this day. 
It is an imported bonnet— a genuine 
Leghorn— and of a kind so costly that 
Mr. Hill made only an occasional sale 
of one. Its price, in fact, was twenty- 
five dollars. 

native American party 

dominating elements were added Germans, 

French, Spanish, negroes, and Indians. 

Lincoln the captain. Lincoln himself 
was interested in what he had done, 
and nearly twenty years later he em- 
bodied his reflections on this adven- 
ture in a curious invention for getting 
boats over shoals. 


The raft over the New Salem dam, 
the party went on to New Orleans, 
reaching there in May, 1831, and 
remaining a month. It must have 
been a month of intense intellectual 
activity for Lincoln. Since his first 
visit, made with young Gentry, New 
Orleans had entered upon her "flush 
times." Commerce was increasing at 
a rate which dazzled speculators, and 
drew them from all over the United 
States. From 1830 to 1840 no other 
American city increased in such a 
ratio ; exports and imports, which in 
1831 amounted to $26,000,000, in 1835 
had more than 
doubled. The 
Creole popula- 
tion had held 
the sway so far 
in the city ; but 
now it came into 
and often into 
conflict, with a 
pushing, ambi- 
tious, and fre- 
quently un- 
To these two pre- 





Cosmopolitan in its make-np, the city was even more cosmo- 
politan in its life. Everything was to be seen in New Orleans 
in those days, from the idle lnxnry of the wealthy Creole to 
the organization of filibustering juntas. The pirates still plied 
their trade in the Gulf, and the Mississippi River brought down 
hundreds of river boatmen — oue of the wildest, wickedest sets 
of men that ever existed in any city. 

Lincoln and his companions ran their boat up beside thou- 
sands of others. It was the custom to tie such craft along the 
river front where St. Mary's Market now stands, and one could 
walk a mile, it is said, over the tops of these boats without 


going ashore. No doubt Lincoln went, too, to live in the boat- 
men's rendezvous, called the "swamp," a wild, rough quarter, 
where roulette, whiskey, and the flint-lock pistol ruled. 

All of the picturesque life, the violent contrasts of the city, 
he would see as he wandered about ; and he would carry away 
the sharp impressions which are produced when mind and heart 
are alert, sincere, and healthy. 

In this month spent in New Orleans Lincoln must have seen 
much of slavery. At that time the city was full of slaves, and 
the number was constantly increasing ; indeed, one-third of the 
New Orleans increase in population between 1830 and 1840 was 
in negroes. One of the saddest features of the institution was 
to be seen there in its most aggravated form — the slave market. 
The better class of slave-holders of the South, who looked on the 
institution as patriarchal, and who guarded their slaves with 
conscientious care, knew little, it should be said, of this terrible 
traffic. Their transfer of slaves was humane, but in the open 
markets of the city it was attended by shocking cruelty and 

Lincoln witnessed in New Orleans for the first time the re- 
volting sight of men and women sold like animals. Mr. Hern- 
don says that he often heard Mr. Lincoln refer to this experi- 
ence. "In New Orleans for the first time," he writes, " Lincoln 
beheld the true horrors of human slavery. He saw ' negroes in 
chains — whipped and scourged.' Against this inhumanity his 
sense of right and justice rebelled, and his mind and conscience 
were awakened to a realization of what he had often heard and 
read. N o doubt, as one of his companions has said, ' slavery 
ran the iron into him then and there.' 

" One morning, in their rambles over the city, the trio passed 
a slave auction. A vigorous and comely mulatto girl was being 
sold. She underwent a thorough examination at the hands of 
the bidders ; they pinched her flesh, and made her trot up and 
down the room like a horse, to show how she moved, and in 
order, as the auctioneer said, that ' bidders might satisfy them- 
selves ' whether the article they were offering to buy was sound 
or not. The whole thing was so revolting that Lincoln moved 
away from the scene with a deep feeling of ' unconquerable hate.' 
Bidding his companions follow him, he said: 'Boys, let's get 
away from this. If ever I get a chance to hit that thing ' (mean- 
ing slavery), ' I'll hit it hard.' " 


The original of this picture is an ambrotype owned by C. F. Gunther of Chicago, who bought it from 
W. H. Somers of El Cajon, California. Mr. Somers bought the original directly from the artist, a Mr. 
Alschuler of Urbana, Illinois. In a recent letter he explains why he bought the picture : "At the time I 
was clerk of the circuit court, and was about as w^ell acquainted with Mr. Lincoln as with most of the 
forty-odd lawyers who practised law in the circuit. Of course I was then quite a young man, and the fall 
term of 1857 was my first term as clerk. On the opening day of court, which was always an interesting 
occasion, largely because we were curious to see what attorneys from a distance were in attendance, while 
sitting at my desk and watching the lawyers take their places within the bar of the court-room, I observed 
that Mr. Lincoln was among them; and as I looked in his direction, he arose from his seat, and came 
forward and gave me a cordial hand-shake, accompanying the action witli words of congratulation on my 
election. I mention this fact because the conduct of Mr. Lincoln was so in contrast with that of the 
other members of the bar that it touched me deeply, and made me, ever afterwards, his steadfast friend." 

Mr. J. O. Cunningham, who was present when the picture was taken, writes us as follows of the cir- 
cumstances : " One morning I was in the gallery of Mr. Alschuler, when Mr. Lincoln came into the room 
and said he had been informed that he (Alschuler) wished him to sit for a picture. Alschuler said he had 
sent such a message to Mr. Lincoln, but he could not take the picture in that coat (referring to a linei. 
duster in which Mr. Lincoln was clad), and asked if he had not a dark coat in which he could sit. Mr. 
Lincoln said he had not ; that this was the only coat he had brought with him from his home. Alschuler 
said he could wear his coat, and gave it to Mr. Lincoln, who pulled off the duster and put on the artist's 
coat. Alschuler was a very short man, with short arms, but with a body nearly as large as the body of Mr. 
Lincoln. The arms of the latter extended through the sleeves of the coat of Alschuler a quarter of a yard, 
making him quite ludicrous, at which he (Lincoln) laughed immoderately, and sat down for the picture to 
be taken with an effort at being sober enough for the occasion. The lips in the picture show this." 



Mr. Herndon gives John Hanks as his authority for this state- 
ment. This is plainly an error ; for, according to Mr. Lincoln 
himself, Hanks did not go on to New Orleans, but, having a 
family, and finding that he was likely to be detained from home 
longer than he had expected, he turned back at St. Louis. 
Though there is reason for believing that Lincoln was deeply 
impressed on this trip by something he saw in a New Orleans 
slave market, and that he often referred to it, the story told 
above probably grew to its present proportions by much telling. 



HE month in New Orleans passed swiftly, and in 
June, 1831, Lincoln and his companions took 
passage up the river. He did not return, how- 
ever, in the usual way of the river boatman "out 
of a job.' 1 According to his own way of put- 
ting it, "-during this boat-enterprise acquaint- 
ance with Offutt, who was previously an entire 
stranger, he conceived a liking for Abraham, 
and believing he could turn him to account, he 
contracted with him to act as a clerk for him on his return from 
New Orleans, in charge of a store and mill at New Salem." The 
store and mill were, however, so far only in Offutt' s imagination, 
and Lincoln had to drift about until his emxDloyer was ready for 
him. He made a short visit to his father and mother, now in 
Coles County, near Charleston (fever and ague had driven the 
Lincolns from their first home in Macon County), and then, in 
July, 1831, he went to New Salem, where, as he says, he " stopped 
indefinitely, and for the first time, as it were, by himself." 

The village of New Salem, the scene of Lincoln's mercantile 
career, was one of the many little towns which, in the pioneer 
days, sprang up along the Sangamon River, a stream then looked 
upon as navigable and as destined to be counted among the high- 
ways of commerce. Twenty miles northwest of Springfield, 
strung along the left bank of the Sangamon, parted by hollows 
and ravines, is a row of high hills. On one of these— a long, 


Map drawn by J. McCau Davis, aided by surviving inhabitants of New Salem. Dr. John Allen was the 
leading physician of New Salem. He was a Yankee, and was at first looked upon with suspicion, but he 
was soon conducting a Sunday-school and temperance society, though strongly opposed by the conserva- 
tive church people. Dr. Allen attended Ann Rutledge in her last illness. He was thrifty, and, moving to 
Petersburg in 1840, became wealthy. He died in 1860. Dr. Francis Regnier was a rival physician and a 
respected citizen. Samuel Hill and John McNeill (whose real name subsequently proved to be McNamar) 
operated a general store next to Berry and Lincoln's grocery. Mr. Hill also owned the carding-machine. He 
moved his store to Petersburg in 1839, and engaged in business there, dying quite wealthy. Jack Kelso 
followed a variety of callings, being occasionally a school-teacher, now and then a grocery clerk, and 
always a fisher and hunter. He was a man of some culture, and when warmed by liquor, quoted Shakes- 
peare and Burns profusely, a habit which won for him the close friendship of Lincoln. Joshua Miller was 
a blacksmith, and lived in the same house with Kelso — a double house. He is said to be still living, some- 
where in Nebraska. Miller and Kelso were brothers-in-law. Philemon Morris was a tinner. Henry 
Onstott was a cooper by trade. He was an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and meetings 
were often held at his house. Rev. John Berry, father of Lincoln's partner, frequently preached there. 
Robert Johnson was a wheelwright, and his wife took in weaving. Martin Waddell was a hatter. He 
was the best-natured man in town, Lincoln possibly excepted. The Trent brothers, who succeeded Berry 
and Lincoln as proprietors of the store, worked in his shop for a time. William Clary, one of the first 
settlers of New Salem, was one of a numerous family, most of whom lived in the vicinity of " Clary's 
Grove." Isaac Burner was the father of Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lincoln's clerk. Alexander 
Ferguson worked at odd jobs. He had two brothers, John and Elijah. Isaac Gollaher lived in a house 
belonging to John Ferguson. "Row" Herndon, at whose house Lincoln boarded for a year or more 
after going to New Salem, moved to the country after selling his store to Berry and Lincoln. John Cameron, 
one of the founders of the town, was a Presbyterian preacher and a highly esteemed citizen. 


narrow ridge, beginning with a 
sharp and sloping point near the 
river, running south, and paral- 
lel with the stream a little way, 
and then, reaching its highest 
point, making a sudden turn to 
the west, and gradually widen- 
ing until lost in the prairie — stood 
this frontier village. The crook- 
ed river for a short distance 
conies from the east, and, seem- 
ingly surprised at meeting the 
bluff, abruptly changes its course, 
and flows to the north. Across 
the river the bottom stretches out 
half a mile back to the highlands. 
New Salem, founded in 1829 by 
James Eutledge and John Cam- 
eron, and a dozen years later a 
deserted village, is rescued from 
oblivion only by the fact that 
Lincoln was once one of its inhabi- 
tants. His first sight of the town 
had been in April, 1831, when 
he and his crew had been de- 
tained in getting their flatboat 
over the Rutledge and Cameron 
mill-dam. When Lincoln walked 
into New Salem, three months 
later, he w r as not altogether a 
stranger, for the people remem- 
bered him as the ingenious flat- 
boatman who had freed his boat 
from water (and thus enabled it to get over the dam) by resort- 
ing to the miraculous expedient of boring a hole in the bottom. 

Offutt' s goods had not arrived when Mr. Lincoln reached New 
Salem ; and he ' ' loafed ' ' about, so those who remember his 
arrival say, good-naturedly taking a hand in whatever he could 
find to do, and in his droll way making friends of everybody. 
By chance, a bit of work fell to him almost at once, which intro- 
duced him generally and gave him an opportunity to make a 


William G. Greene was one of the earliest 
friends of Lincoln at New Salem. He stood on 
the bank of the Sangamon River on the 19th of 
April, 1831, and watched Lincoln bore a hole in 
the bottom of the flatboat which had lodged on 
the mill-dam, so that the water might run out. 
A few months later he and Lincoln were both 
employed by the enterprising Denton Offutt 
as clerks in the store and managers of the mill 
which had been leased by Offutt. It was Will- 
iam G. Greene who, returning home from col- 
lege at Jacksonville on a vacation, brought 
Richard Yates with him, and introduced him to 
Lincoln, the latter being found stretched out on 
the cellar door of Bowling Green's cabin, read- 
ing a book. Mr. Greene was born in Tennessee 
in 1812, and went to Illinois in 1822. After the 
disappearance of New Salem he removed to 
Tallula, a few miles away, where in after years 
he engaged in the banking business. He died 
in 1894, after amassing a fortune. 



name in the neighborhood. It was election day. The village 
school-master, Mentor Graham by name, was clerk, but the 
assistant was ill. Looking abont for some one to help him, Mr. 
Graham saw a tall stranger loitering around the polling-place, 
and called to him, " Can you write V ' ' % Yes," said the stranger, 
" I can make a few rabbit tracks." Mr. Graham evidently was 
satisfied with the answer, for he promptly initiated him ; and he 
filled his place not only to the satisfaction of his employer, but 
also to the delectation of the loiterers about the polls, for when- 
ever things dragged he immediately began " to spin out a stock 
of Indiana yarns." So droll were they that years afterward 
men who listened to Lincoln that day repeated them to their 
friends. He had made a hit in New Salem, to start with, and 
here, as in Sangamon town, it was by means of his story-telling. 
His next work was to pilot down the Sangamon and Illinois 
rivers, as far as Beardstown, a flatboat bearing the family and 
goods of a pioneer bound for Texas. At Beardstown he found 
Offntt's goods, waiting to be taken to New Salem. As he footed 
his way home he met two men with a wagon and ox-team going 
for the goods. Off utt had expected Lincoln to wait at Beards- 
town until the ox-team arrived, and the teamsters, not having 
any credentials, asked Lincoln to give them an order for the 
goods. This, sitting down by the roadside, he wrote out ; and 
one of the men used to relate that it contained a misspelled word, 
which he corrected. 


The precise date 
of the opening of 
Denton Offutt' s store 
is not known. We 
only know that on 
July 8, 1831, the 
County Commission- 
ers' Court of Sanga- 
mon County granted 
Offutt a license to 
retail merchandise at 





Reproduced by permission from "Menard-Salem-Lincoln Souvenir Album," Petersburg, Illinois, 1893. 

New Salem, for which he paid five dollars, a fee which supposed 
him to have one thousand dollars' worth of goods in stock. 
When the oxen and their drivers returned with the goods, the 
store was opened in a little log house on the brink of the hill, 
almost over the river. 

The frontier store filled a unique place. Usually it was a 
"general store," and on its shelves were found most of the arti- 
cles needed in a community of pioneers. But to be a place for 
the sale of dry goods and groceries was not its only function ; it 
was a kind of intellectual and social centre. It was the common 
meeting-place of the farmers, the happy refuge of the village 
loungers. No subject was unknown there. The habitues of the 
place were equally at home in discussing politics, religion, or 
sports. Stories were told, jokes were cracked and laughed at, and 
the news contained in the latest newspaper finding its way into 


the wilderness was repeated again and again. Such a store was 
that of Denton Offutt. Lincoln could hardly have chosen sur- 
roundings more favorable to the highest development of the art 
of story-telling, and he had not been there long before his repu- 
tation for drollery was established. 


But he gained popularity and respect in other ways. There 
was near the village a settlement called Clary's Grove. The 
most conspicuous part of the population was an organization 
known as the ' ' Clary' s Grove Boys. ' ' They exercised a veritable 
terror over the neighborhood, and yet they were not a vicious 
band. Mr. Herndon, who had a cousin living in New Salem at 
the time, and who knew personally many of the "boys," says : 

"They were friendly and good-natured; they could trench a 
pond, dig a bog, build a house ; they could pray and fight, make 
a village or create a State. They would do almost anything for 
sport or fun, love or necessity. Though rude and rough ; though 
life's forces ran over the edge of the bowl, foaming and spark- 
ling in pure deviltry for deviltry's sake, yet place before them a 
poor man who needed their aid, a lame or sick man, a defence- 
less woman, a widow, or an orphaned child, they melted into 
sympathy and charity at once. They gave all they had, and 
willingly toiled or played cards for more. Though there never 
was under the sun a more generous parcel of rowdies, a stran- 
ger's introduction was likely to be the most unpleasant part of 
his acquaintance with them." 

Denton Offutt, Lincoln's employer, was just the man to love 
to boast before such a crowd. He seemed to feel that Lincoln's 
physical prowess shed glory on himself, and he declared the 
country over that his clerk could lift more, throw farther, run 
faster, jump higher, and wrestle better than any man in Sanga- 
mon County. The Clary's Grove Boys, of course, felt in honor 
bound to prove this false, and they appointed their best man, 
one Jack Armstrong, to "throw Abe." Jack Armstrong was, 
according to the testimony of all who remember him, a "power- 
ful twister," "square built and strong as an ox," "the best- 
made man that ever lived;" and everybody knew the contest 
would be close. Lincoln did not like to "tussle and scuffle ; " he 
objected to "woolling and pulling;" but Offutt had gone so 




far that it became necessary to yield. The match was held on 
the ground near the grocery. Clary's Grove and New Salem 
turned out generally to witness the bout, and betting on the 
result ran high, the community as a whole staking their jack- 
knives, tobacco-plugs, and "treats" on Armstrong. The two 
men had scarcely taken hold of each other before it was evident 
that the Clary's Grove champion had met a match. The two 
men wrestled long and hard, but both kept their feet. Neither 
could throw the other, and Armstrong, convinced of this, tried a 
"foul." Lincoln no sooner realized the game of his antagonist 
than, furious with indignation, he caught him by the throat and, 
holding him out at arm's length, "shook him like a child." 



Armstrong's friends rushed 
to his aid, and for a moment 
it looked as if Lincoln 
would be routed by sheer 
force of numbers. But he 
held his own so bravely 
that the "boys," in spite 
of their sympathies, were 
filled with admiration. 
What bade fair to be a gen- 
eral fight ended in a general 
hand-shake, even Jack 
Armstrong declaring that 
Lincoln was the "best fel- 
low who ever broke into 
the camp." From that 
day, at the cock-fights and 
horse-races, w h i c h were 
their common sports, he 
became the chosen umpire ; 
and when the entertain- 
ment broke up in a row — 
a not uncommon occurrence 
— he acted the peacemaker 
without s u ff e r i n g the 
peacemaker's usual fate. 
Such was his reputation 
with the ' ' Clary' s Grove 
Boys," after three months 
in New Salem, that when 
the fall muster came off he 
was elected captain. 

Lincoln showed soon 
that if he was unwilling 
to indulge in ' ' woolling and 
pulling" for amusement, 
he did not object to it in a case of honor. A man came into the 
store one day when women were present, and used profane lan- 
guage. Lincoln asked him to stop ; but the man persisted, 
swearing that nobody should prevent his saying what he wanted 
to. The women gone, the man began to abuse Lincoln so hotly 


Mentor Graham was the New Salem school-master. He 
it was who assisted Lincoln in mastering Kirkham's Gram- 
mar, ami later gave him valuable assistance when Lincoln 
was learning the theory of surveying. He taught in a little 
log school-house on a hill south of the village, just across 
Green's Rocky Branch. Among his pupils was Ann Rut- 
ledge, and the school was often visited by Lincoln. In 1845 
Mentor Graham was defendant in a lawsuit in which Lin- 
coln and Herndon were attorneys for the plaintiff, Nancy 
Green. It appears from the declaration, written by Lin- 
coln's own hand, that on October 28, 1844, Mentor Graham 
gave his note to, Nancy Green for one hundred dollars, with 
John Owen and Andrew Beerup as sureties, payable twelve 
months afterdate. The note not being paid when due, suit 
was brought. That Lincoln, even as an attorney, should 
sue Mentor Graham may seem strange ; but it is no surprise 
when it is explained that the plaintiff was the widow of 
Bowling Green— the woman who, with her husband, had 
comforted Lincoln in an hour of grief. Justice, too, in this 
cass was clearly on her side. The lawsuit seems never to 
have disturbed the friendly relations between Lincoln and 
Mentor Graham. The latter's admiration for the former 
was unbounded to the day of his death. Mentor Graham 
lived on his farm near the ruins of New Salem until I860, 
when he removed to Petersburg. There he lived until 1885, 
when he removed to Greenview, Illinois. Later he went to 
South Dakota, where he died about 1892, at the ripe old age 
of ninety-odd years. 



that the latter finally said, 
" Well, if you must be whipped, 
I suppose I might as well whip 
you as any other man ; " and 
going outdoors with the fellow, 
he threw him on the ground, 
and rubbed smart-weed in his 
eyes until he bellowed for 
mercy. New Salem's sense of 
chivalry was t ou c h e d , and 
enthusiasm over Lincoln in- 

His honesty excited no less 
admiration. Two incidents 
seem to have particularly im- 


This chair is now in the collection of Mr. Louis 
Vanuxem of Philadelphia. It was originally owned 
by Caleb Carmen of New Salem, and was once re- 
paired by Abraham Lincoln. 


Reproduced by permission from " Menard-Sa- 
lem-Lincoln Souvenir Album," Petersburg, Illi- 
nois, 1893. 

pressed the community. Hav- 
ing discovered on one occasion 
that he had taken six and a 
quarter cents too much from a 
customer, he w a Ik e d three 
miles that evening, after his 
store was closed, to return the 
money. Again, he weighed 
out a half-pound of tea, as he 
supposed. It was night, and 
this was the last thing he did 
before closing up. On enter- 
ing in the morning he dis- 
covered a four-ounce weight on 
the scales. He saw his mis- 
take, and, closing up shop, 
hurried off to deliver the re- 
mainder of the tea. This un- 
usual regard for the rights of 
others soon won him the title 
of "Honest Abe." 



As soon as the store was fairly under way, Lincoln began to 
look about for books. Since leaving Indiana, in March, 1830, 
he had had, in his drifting life, little leisure or opportunity for 
study, though he had had a great deal for observation. Never- 
theless his desire to learn had increased, and his ambition to be 
somebody had been encouraged. In that time he had found 
that he really was superior to many of those who were called the 
' ' great "men of the country. Soon after entering Macon County, 
in March, 1830, when he was only twenty-one years old, he had 
found he could make a better speech than at least one man who 
was before the public. A candidate had come along where John 
Hanks and he were at work, and, as John Hanks tells the story, 
the man made a speech. "It was a bad one, and I said Abe 
could beat it. I turned down a box, and Abe made his speech. 
The other man was a candidate, Abe wasn't, Abe beat him to 
death, his subject being the navigation of the Sangamon River. 
The man, after Abe' s speech was through, took him aside, and 
asked him where he had learned so much and how he could do 
so well. Abe replied, stating his manner and method of reading, 
what he had read. The man encouraged him to persevere." 

He had found that people listened to him, that they quoted 
his opinions, and that his friends were already saying that he 
was able to fill any position. Offutt even declared the country 
over that "Abe" knew more than any man in the United States, 
and that some day he would be President. 

Under this stimulus Lincoln s ambition increased. "I have 
talked with great men," he told his fellow-clerk and friend 
Greene, "and I do not see how they differ from others." He 
made up his mind to put himself before the public, and talked 
of his plans to his friends. In order to keep in practice in speak- 
ing he walked seven or eight miles to debating clubs. " Practis- 
ing polemics" was what he called the exercise. He seems now 
for the first time to have begun to study subjects. Grammar 
was what he chose. He sought Mentor Graham, the school-, 
master, and asked his advice. "If you are going before the 
public," Mr. Graham told him, "you ought to do it." But 
where could he get a grammar % There was but one, said Mr. 
Graham, in the neighborhood, and that was six miles away. 
Without waiting for further information, the young man rose from 


the breakfast- table, walked immediately to the place, and bor- 
rowed this rare copy of Kirkham's Grammar. From that time 
on for weeks he gave his leisure to mastering its contents. Fre- 
quently he asked his friend Greene to hold the book while he 
recited, and when puzzled he would consult Mr. Graham. 

Lincoln's eagerness to learn was such that the whole neigh- 
borhood became interested. The Greenes lent him books, the 
school-master kept him in mind and helped him as he could, and 
the village cooper let him come into his shop and keep up a fire 
of shavings sufficiently bright to read by at night. It was not 
long before the grammar was mastered. "Well," Lincoln said 
to his fellow-clerk Greene, ''if that's what they call a science, I 
think I'll go at another." 

Before the winter was ended he had become the most popular 
man in New Salem. Although he was but twenty-two years of 
age in February. 1832 ; had never been at school an entire year ; 
had never made a speech, except in debating clubs or by the 
roadside ; had read only the books he could pick up, and known 
only the men of the poor, out-of-the-way towns in which he had 
lived, yet, ' ' encouraged by his great popularity among his im- 
mediate neighbors," as he says, he announced himself, in March, 
1832, as a candidate for the General Assembly of the State. 



HE only preliminary expected of a candidate for 
the legislature of Illinois at that date was an 
announcement stating his kk sentiments with re- 
gard to local affairs." The circular in which 
Lincoln complied with this custom was a docu- 
ment of about two thousand words, in which he 
plunged at once into the subject he believed 
most interesting to his constituents — "the pub- 
lic utility of internal improvements." 
At that time the State of Illinois — as, indeed, the whole 
United States — was convinced that the future of the country 

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depended on the opening of canals and railroads, and the clear- 
ing ont of the rivers. In the Sangamon country the population 
felt that a quick way of getting to Beardstown on the Illinois 
River, to which point the steamer came from the Mississippi, 
was, as Lincoln puts it in his circular, using a phrase of his hero 
Clay, "indispensably necessary." Of course a railroad was the 
dream of the settlers ; but when it was considered seriously there 
was always, as Lincoln says, "a heart-appalling shock accom- 
panying the amount of its cost, which forces us to shrink from 
our pleasing anticipations." 

" The probable cost of this contemplated railroad is estimated at two hun- 
dred and ninety thousand dollars ; the bare statement of which, in my opinion, 
is sufficient to justify the belief that the improvement of the Sangamon River 
is an object much better suited to our infant resources. 

' ' Respecting this view, I think I may say, without the fear of being con- 
tradicted, that its navigation may be rendered completely practicable as high 
as the mouth of the South Fork, or probably higher, to vessels of from twenty- 
five to thirty tons burden, for at least one-half of all common years, and to 
vessels of much greater burden a part of the time. From my peculiar circum- 
stances, it is probable that for the last twelve months I have given as particular 
attention to the stage of the water in this river as any other person in the coun- 
try. In the month of March, 1831, in company with others, I commenced the 
building of a flatboat on the Sangamon, and finished and took her out in the 
course of the spring. Since that time I have been concerned in the mill at New 
Salem. These circumstances are sufficient evidence that I have not been very 
inattentive to the stages of the water. The time at which we crossed the mill- 
dam being in the last days of April, the water was lower than it had been since 

Note : Lincoln's First Vote. — The original poll-book from which the vote as shown on page 126 is re- 
produced, is now on file in the County Clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln's first vote was cast at New 
Salem, " in the Clary's Grove precinct," August 1, 1831. At this election he aided Mr. Graham, who was one 
of the clerks. In the early days in Illinois, elections were conducted by the viva voce method. The people 
did try voting by ballot, but the experiment was unpopular. It required too much " book larnin," and in 
1829 the viva wee method of voting was restored. The judges and clerks sat at a table with the poll-book 
before them. The voter walked up, and announced the candidate of his choice, and it was recorded in his 
presence. There was no ticket peddling, and ballot-box stuffing was impossible. To this simple system 
we are indebted for the record of Lincoln's first vote. As will be seen from the f ac-siinile, Lincoln voted for 
James Turney for Congressman, Bowling Green and Edmuud Greer for Magistrates, and John Armstrong 
and Henry Sinco for Constables. Of these five men three were elected. Turney was defeated for Congress- 
man by Joseph Duncan. Turney lived in Greene County. He was not then a conspicuous figure in the 
politics of the State, but was a follower of Henry Clay, and was well thought of in his own district. He 
and Lincoln, in 1834, served their first terms together in the lower house of the legislature, and later he was 
a State senator. Joseph Duncan, the successful candidate, was already in Congress. He was a politician 
of influence. In 1834 he was a strong Jackson man ; but after his election as Governor he created con- 
sternation among the followers of " Old Hickory " by becoming a Whig. Sidney Breese, who received only 
two votes in the Clary's Grove precinct, afterward became the most conspicuous of the five candidates. 
Eleven years later he defeated Stephen A. Douglas for the United States Senate, and for twenty-five years he 
was on the bench of the Supreme Court of Illinois, serving under each of the three constitutions. For the 
office of Magistrate, Bowling Green was elected, but Greer was beaten. Both of Lincoln's candidates for 
Constable were elected. John Armstrong was the man with whom, a short time afterward, Lincoln had 
the celebrated wrestling match. Henry Sinco was the keeper of a store at New Salem. Lincoln's first 
vote for President was not cast until the next year (November 5, 1832), when he voted for Henry Clay. 


the breaking of winter, in February, or than it was for several weeks after. 
The principal difficulties we encountered in descending the river were from the 
drifted timber, which obstructions all know are not difficult to be removed. 
Knowing almost precisely the height of water at that time, I believe I am safe 
in saying that it has as often been higher as lower since. 

"From this view of the subject, it appears that my calculations with 
regard to the navigation of the Sangamon cannot but be founded in reason ; 
but, whatever may be its natural advantages, certain it is that it never can be 
practically useful to any great extent without being greatly improved by art. 
The drifted timber, as I have before mentioned, is the most formidable barrier 
to this object. Of all parts of this river, none will require as much labor in 
proportion to make it navigable as the last thirty or thirty-five miles ; and 
going with the meanderings of the channel, when we are this distance above 
its mouth, we are only between twelve and eighteen miles from Beardstown in 
something near a straight direction, and this route is upon such low ground as 
to retain water in many places during the season, and in all parts such as to 
draw two-thirds or three-fourths of the river water at all high stages. 

" This route is on prairie-land the whole distance, so that it appears to me, 
by removing the turf a sufficient width, and damming up the old channel, the 
whole river in a short time would wash its way through, thereby curtailing the 
distance and increasing the velocity of the current very considerably, while 
there would be no timber on the banks to obstruct its navigation in future ; 
and being nearly straight, the timber wmich might float in at the head would 
be apt to go clear through. There are also many places above this where the 
river, in its zigzag course, forms such complete peninsulas as to be easier to cut 
at the necks than to remove the obstructions from the bends, which, if done, 
w T ould also lessen the distance. 

' ' What the cost of this work would be, I am tumble to say. It is probable, 
however, that it would not be greater than is common to streams of the same 
length. Finally, I believe the improvement of the Sangamon River to be 
vastly important and highly desirable to the people of the country ; and, if 
elected, any measure in the legislature having this for its object, which may 
appear judicious, will meet my approbation and receive my support. " 

Lincoln could not have advocated a measure more popular. 
At that moment the whole population of Sangamon was in a 
state of wild expectation. Some six weeks before Lincoln's 
circular appeared, a citizen of Springfield had advertised that as 
soon as the ice went off the river he would bring up a steamer, 
the "Talisman," from Cincinnati, and prove the Sangamon 
navigable. The announcement had aroused the entire country, 
speeches were made, and subscriptions taken. The merchants 
announced goods direct per steamship "Talisman" the country 
over, and every village from Beardstown to Springfield was laid 
off in town lots. When the circular appeared the excitement 
was at its height. 


Lincoln's comments in his circular on two other subjects on 
which all candidates of the day expressed themselves, are amus- 
ing in their simplicity. The practice of loaning money at exor- 
bitant rates was then a great evil in the West. Lincoln proposed 
that the limits of usury be fixed, and he closed his paragraph on 
the subject with these words, which sound strange enough from 
a man who in later life showed so profound a reverence for law : 

' ' In cases of extreme necessity, there could always be means found to 
cheat the law ; while in all other cases it would have its intended effect. I 
would favor the passage of a law on this subject which might not- be very easily 
evaded. Let it be such that the labor and difficulty of evading it could only be 
justified in cases of greatest necessity." 

A general revision of the laws of the State was the second topic 
which he felt required a word. "Considering the great proba- 
bility," he said, " that the framers of those laws were wiser than 
myself, I should prefer not meddling with them, unless they 
were attacked by others ; in which case I should feel it both a 
privilege and a duty to take that stand which, in my view, might 
tend most to the advancement of justice." 

Of course he said a word for education : 

"Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or 
system respecting it, can only say that I view it as the most important subject 
which we as a people can be engaged in. That every man may receive at least 
a moderate education, and thereby be enabled to read the histories of his own 
and other countries, by which he may duly appreciate the value of our free 
institutions, appears to be an object of vital importance, even on this account 
alone ; to say nothing of the advantages and satisfaction to be derived from 
all being able to read the Scriptures and other works, both of a religious and 
moral nature, for themselves. 

' ' For my. part, I desire to see the time when education — and by its means 
morality, sobriety, enterprise, and industry — shall become much more general 
than at present, and should be gratified to have it in my power to contribute 
something to the advancement of any measure which might have a tendency 
to accelerate that happy period." 

The audacity of a young man in his position presenting him- 
self as a candidate for the legislature is fully equalled by the 
humility of the closing paragraphs of his announcement : 

"But, fellow-citizens, I shall conclude. Considering the great degree of 
modesty which should always attend youth, it is probable I have already been 
more presuming than becomes me. However, upon the subjects of which I 
have treated, I have spoken as I have thought. I may be wrong in regard to 
any or all of them ; but, holding it a sound maxim that it is better only some- 


From an ambrotype in the possession of Mr. Marcus L. Ward of Newark, New Jersey. 
This portrait of Mr. Lincoln was made in Springfield, Illinois, on May 20, 1860, for the late 
Hon. Marcus L. Ward, Governor of New Jersey. Mr. Ward had gone to Springfield to 
see Mr. Lincoln, and while there asked him for his picture. The President-elect replied 
that he had no picture which was satisfactory, but would gladly sit for one. The two 
gentlemen went out immediately, and in Mr. Ward's presence Mr. Lincoln had the above 
picture taken. 



Reproduced, by permission, from " Menard-Salern-Lincoln Souvenir Album," Petersburg, Illinois, 1893. 

times to be right than at all times to be wrong, so soon as I discover my opin- 
ions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them. 

/ " Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or 
not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly 
esteemed of my fellow-men by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How 
far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to be developed. I am 
young, and unknown to many of you. I was born, and have ever remained, 
in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relations or 
friends to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the indepen- 
dent voters of the county ; and, if elected, they will have conferred a favor 
upon me for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate. But, 
if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, 
I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined." 

Very soon after Lincoln had distributed his handbills, enthu- 
siasm on the subject of the opening of the Sangamon rose to a 
fever. The "Talisman" actually came up the river ; scores of 
men went to Beardstown to meet her, among them Lincoln, of 





A C3.MP3NI>iUX<«; 




From a photograph made especially for this work. The copy of Kirkham's Grammar studied by 
Lincoln belonged to a man named Vaner. Some of the biographers say Lincoln borrowed it ; but it 
appears that he became the owner of the book, either by purchase or through the generosity of Vaner, 
for it was never returned to the latter. It is said that Lincoln learned this grammar practically by 
heart. " Sometimes," says Herndon, " he would stretch out at full length on the counter, his head 
propped up on a stack of calico prints, studying it ; or he would steal away to the shade of some inviting 
tree, and there spend hours at a time in a determined effort to fix in his mind the arbitrary rule that 
' adverbs qualify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.' " He presented the book to Ann Rutledge, and it 
has since been one of the treasures of the Rutledge family. After the death of Ann it was studied by her 
brother Robert, and is now owned by his widow, who resides at Casselton, North Dakota. The title page of 
the book appears above. The words, " Ann M. Rutledge is now learning grammar," were written by Lin- 
coln. The order on James Rutledge to pay David P. Nelson thirty dollars, and signed " A. Lincoln for D. 
Offutt," which is shown above, was pasted upon the front cover of the book by Robert Rutledge. 

course ; and to him was given the honor of piloting her — an honor 
which made him remembered by many a man who saw him that 
day for the first time. The trip was made with all the wild 


demonstrations which always attended the first steamboat. On 
either bank a long procession of men and boys on foot or horse 
accompanied the boat. Cannons and volleys of musketry were 
fired as settlements were passed. At every stop speeches were 
made, congratulations offered, toasts drunk, flowers presented. 
It was one long hurrah from Beardstown to Springfield, and 
foremost in the jubilation was Lincoln the pilot. The "Talis- 
man " went to the point on the river nearest to Springfield, and 
there tied up for a week. When she went back, Lincoln again 
had a conspicuous position as pilot. The notoriety this gave 
him was probably quite as valuable politically as the forty 
dollars he received for his service was financially. 

While the country had been dreaming of wealth through the 
opening of the Sangamon, and Lincoln had been doing his best 
to prove that the dream was possible, the store in which he 
clerked was "petering out" — to use his own expression. The 
owner, Denton Offutt, had proved more ambitious than wise, and 
Lincoln saw that an early closing by the sheriff was probable. 
But before the store was fairly closed, and while the trip of the 
"Talisman" was yet exciting the country, an event occurred 
which interrupted all of Lincoln's plans. 


This table is now owned by W. C. Green of Talula, 
Elinois. Originally it was part of the furniture of the 
cabin of Bowling Green, near New Salem. 


ftom a water-color by Miss Etta Ackermann, Springfield, Illinois. " Clary's Grove " was the name of a 
settlement five miles southwest of New Salem, deriving its name from a grove on the land of the Clarys. 
It was the headquarters of a daring and reckless set of young men living in the neighborhood and known 
as the " Clary's Grove Boys." This cabin was the residence of George Davis, one of the " Clary's Grove 
Boys," and grandfather of Miss Ackermann. It was built in 1824, seventy-one years ago, and is the only 
one left of the cluster of cabins which constituted the little community. 



NE morning in April a messenger from the gov- 
ernor of the State rode into New Salem, scatter- 
ing circulars. These circulars contained an ad- 
dress from Governor Reynolds to the militia of 
the northwest section of the State, announcing 
that the British band of Sacs and other hostile 
Indians, headed by Black Hawk, had invaded 
the Rock River country, to the great terror of 
the frontier inhabitants ; and calling upon the 

citizens who were willing to aid in repelling them, to rendezvous 

at Beardstown within a week. 



The name of Black Hawk 
was familiar to the people 
of Illinois. He was an old 
enemy of the settlers, and 
had been a tried friend of 
the British. The land his 
people had once owned in 
the northwest of the present 
State of Illinois had been 
sold in 1804 to the govern- 
ment of the United States, 
bnt with the provision that 
the Indians should hunt 
and raise corn there until it 
was surveyed and sold to 
settlers. Long before the 
land was surveyed, how- 
ever, squatters had invaded 
the country, and tried to 
force the Indians west of 
the Mississippi. Particu- 
larly envious were these 
whites of the lands at the 
mouth of the Rock River, 
w T here the ancient village 
and burial place of the Sacs 
stood, and where they came each year to raise corn. Black 
Hawk had resisted their encroachments, and many violent acts 
had been committed on both sides. 

Finally, however, the squatters, in spite of the fact that the 
line of settlement was still fifty miles away, succeeded in evad- 
ing the real meaning of the treaty and in securing a survey of 
the desired land at the mouth of the river. Black Hawk, exas- 
perated and broken-hearted at seeing his village violated, per- 
suaded himself that the village had never been sold — indeed, 
that land could not be sold. 

"My reason teaches me," he wrote, " that land cannot be sold. The Great 
Spirit gave it to his children to live upon, and cultivate, as far as is necessary 
for their subsistence ; and so long- as they occupy and cultivate it they have the 
right to the soil, but if they voluntarily leave it, then any other people have 
a right to settle upon it. Nothing can be sold but such things as can be carried 


Nancy Green was the wife of "Squire" Bowling 
Green. Her maiden name was Nancy Potter. She was 
born in North Carolina in 179", and married Bowling 
Green in 1818. She removed with him to New Salem in 
1820, and lived in that vicinity until her death, in 1864. 
Lincoln was a constant visitor in Nancy Green's home. 



Supported by this theory, 
conscious that in some way he 
did not understand he had been 
wronged, and urged on by 
White Cloud, the prophet, who 
ruled a Winnebago village on 
the Rock River, Black Hawk 
crossed the Mississippi in 1831, 
determined to evict the settlers. 
A military demonstration drove 
him back, and he was persuaded 
to sign a treaty never to return 
east of the Mississippi. "I 
touched the goose-quill to the 
treaty and was determined to 
live in peace," he wrote after- 
ward ; but hardly had he 
"touched the goose-quill" be- 
fore his heart smote him. 
Longing for his home, resent- 
ment at the whites, obstinacy, 
brooding over the bad counsels 
of White Cloud and his disciple Neapope — an agitating Indian 
who had recently been East to visit the British and their Indian 
allies, and who assured Black Hawk that the Winnebagoes, 
Ottawas, Chippewas, and Pottawottomies would join him in a 
struggle for his land, and that the British would send him 
"guns, ammunition, provisions, and clothing early in the spring" 
— all persuaded the Hawk that he would be successful if he made 
an effort to drive out the whites. In spite of the advice of many 
of his friends and of the Indian agent in the country, he crossed 
the river on April 6, 1832, and with some five hundred braves, 
his squaws and children, marched to the Prophet's town, thirty- 
five miles up the Rock River. 

As soon as they heard of Black Hawk' s invasion, the settlers 
of the northwestern part of the State fled in a panic to the forts ; 
and they rained petitions for protection on Governor Reynolds. 
General Atkinson, who was at Fort Armstrong, wrote to the gov- 
ernor for reinforcements ; and, accordingly, on the 16th of April 
Governor Reynolds sent out "influential messengers" with 
a sonorous summons. It was one of these messengers riding 


John A. Clary was one of the " Clary's Grove 
Boys." He was the son of John Clary, the head of 
the numerous Clary family which settled in the 
vicinity of New Salem in 1881. He was born in 
Tennessee in 1815 and died in 1880. He was an 
intimate associate of Lincoln during the latter's 
New Salem days. 



into New Salem who put an end to Lincoln's canvassing for the 
legislature, freed him from Offutt's expiring grocery, and led 
him to enlist. 

There was no time to waste. The volunteers were ordered to 
be at Beardstown, nearly forty miles from New Salem, on April 
22d. Horses, rifles, saddles, blankets were to be secured, a com- 
pany formed. It was work of which the settlers were not igno- 
rant. Under the laws of the State every able-bodied male inhab- 
itant between eighteen and forty-five was obliged to drill twice a 
year or pay a fine of one dollar. "As a dollar was hard to 
raise," says one of the old settlers, " everybody drilled." 


Preparations were quickly made, and by April 22d the men 
were at Beardstown. 
The day before, at Rich- 
land, Sangamon County, 
Lincoln had been elected 
to the captaincy of the 
company from Sanga- 
mon to which he be- 

His friend Greene 
gave another reason 
than ambition to ex- 
plain his desire for the 
captaincy. One of the 
" odd jobs " which Lin- 
coln had taken since 
coming into Illinois was 
working in a saw-mill 
for a man named Kirk- 
patrick. In hiring Lin- 
coln, Kirkpatrick had 
promised to buy him a 
cant-hook with which to 
move heavy logs. Lin- 
coln had proposed, if 
Kirkpatrick would give 
him the two dollars 


From a photograph made for this work. Owned by Mrs. Ott 
of Petersburg, Illinois. " A kind of flat-bottomed pot, . . . 
which stood upon three legs of three inches long, and had an 
irou lid. Into this bread or meats were put, and baked by 
placing it on the hearth with a quantity of coals under it and 
upon the lid, which was made with a rim to keep the coals upon 
it, and a loop haudle to lift it by. It also had a bail like a pot, 
by which it could be hung over the fire." — Recollections of Life 
in Ohio, by William Cooper Howells. 


which the cant-hook would cost, to move the logs with a common 
hand-spike. This the proprietor had agreed to, bat when pay- 
day came he refused to keep his word. When the Sangamon 
company of volunteers was formed, Kirkpatrick aspired to the 
captaincy, and Lincoln, knowing it, said to Greene : " Bill, I 
believe I can now make Kirkpatrick pay that two dollars he 
owes me on the cant-hook. I'll run against him for captain ;" 
and he became a candidate. The vote was taken in a field, by 
directing the men at the command ' ' march ' ' to assemble around 
the one they wanted for captain. When the order was given, 
three-fourths of the men gathered around Lincoln.* In Lin- 
coln's curious third-person autobiography he says he was elected, 
"to his own surprise;" and adds, "He says he has not since 
had any success in life which gave him so much satisfaction." 

The company was a motley crowd of men. Each had secured 
for his outfit what he could get, and no two were equipped alike. 
Buckskin breeches prevailed, and there was a sprinkling of coon- 
skin caps. Each man had a blanket of the coarsest texture. Flint- 
lock rifies were the usual arms, though here and there a man had 
a Cramer. Over the shoulder of each was slung a powder-horn. 
The men had, as a rule, as little regard for discipline as for ap- 
pearances, and when the new captain gave an order were as likely 
to jeer at it as to obey it. To drive the Indians out was their 
mission, and any orders which did not bear directly on that 
point were little respected. Lincoln himself was not familiar 
with military tactics, and made many blunders, of which he used 
to tell afterwards with relish. One of his early experiences in 
handling his company is particularly amusing. He was march- 
ing with a front of over twenty men across a field, when he 
desired to pass through a gateway into the next inclosure. 

"I could not for the life of me," said he, "remember the 
proper word of command for getting my company endwise, so 
that it could get through the gate ; so, as we came near the gate, 
I shouted, ' This company is dismissed for two minutes, when it 
will fall in again on the other side of the gate ! ' " 

Nor was it only his ignorance of the manual which caused 
him trouble. He was so unfamiliar with camp discipline that he 
once had his sword taken from him for shooting within limits. 

* This story of Kirkpatrick's unfair treatment of Lincoln we owe to the courtesy 
of Colonel Clark E. Carr of Galesburg, Illinois, to whom it was told several times 
by Greene himself. 





: ■ . - - rr . 1 


« 1 

■f .... "> : x1 



The town lay along the ridge marked by the star. 

Another disgrace he suffered was on account of his disorderly- 
company. The men, unknown to him, stole a quantity of liquor 
one night, and the next morning were too drunk to fall in when 
the order was given to march. For their lawlessness Lincoln 
wore a wooden sword two days. 

But none of these small difficulties injured his standing with 
the company. Lincoln was tactful, and he joined his men in 
sports as well as duties. They soon grew so proud of his quick 
wit and great strength that they obeyed him because they ad- 




From a photograph taken for this work. The building in which Lincoln clerked for 
Denton Offutt was standing as late as 1836, and presumably stood until it rotted down. A slight 
depression in the earth, evidently once a cellar, is all that remains of Offutt's store. Out of this 
hole in the ground have grown three trees, a locust, an elm, and a sycamore, seeming to spring 
from the same roots, and curiously twined together. High up on the sycamore some genius 
has chiselled the face of Lincoln. 

mired- him. No amount of military tactics could have secured 
from the volunteers the cheerful following he won by his per- 
sonal qualities. 


The men soon 
learned, too, that 
he meant what he 
said, and would 
permit no dishon- 
orable actions. A 
helpless Indian 
took refuge in the 
camp one day ; 
and the men, who 
were inspired by 
what Governor 
Reynolds calls 
Indian ill-will — 
that wanton mix- 
ture of selfishness, 
unreason, and 
cruelty which 
seems to seize a 
frontiersman as 
soon as he scents 
a red man — were 
determined to kill 
the refugee. He 
had a safe conduct 
from General Cass ; 
but the men, hav- 
ing come out to 
till Indians and 
not having suc- 
ceeded, threatened 

to take revenge on the helpless savage. Lincoln boldly took the 
man's part, and, though lie risked his life in doing it, he cowed 
the company and saved the Indian. 

It was on the 27th of April that the force of sixteen hundred 
men organized at Beardstown started out. The spring was cold, 
the roads heavy, the streams turbulent. The army marched 
first to Yellow Banks on the Mississippi ; then to Dixon on the 
Rock River, which they reached on May 12th. At Dixon they 
camped, and near here occurred the first bloodshed of the war. 

A body of about three hundred and forty rangers under 


From a recent photograph. John Potter, born November 10, 1808, 
was a few months older than Lincoln. He is now living at Petersburg, 
Illinois. He settled in the country one and one-half miles from New 
Salem in 1820. Mr. Potter remembers Lincoln's first appearance in New 
Salem, in July, 1831. He corroborates the stories told of his store, of 
his popularity in the community, and of the general impression that he 
was an unusually promising young man. 


Major Stillman, but not of the regular army, asked to go ahead 
as scouts, to look for a body of Indians under Black Hawk, 
rumored to be about twelve miles away. The permission was 
given, and on the night of the 14th of May, Stillman and his men 
went into camp. Black Hawk heard of their presence. By this 
time the poor old chief had discovered that the promises of aid 
from the Indian tribes and the British were false, and, dismayed, 
he had resolved to recross the Mississippi. When he heard of 
the whites near, he sent three braves with a white flag to ask 
for a parley and permission to descend the river. Behind them 
he sent five men to watch proceedings. Stillman' s rangers were 
in camp when the bearers of the flag of truce appeared. The 
men were many of them half drunk, and when they saw the 
Indian truce-bearers, they rushed out in a wild mob, and ran 
them into camp. Then catching sight of the five spies, they 
started after them, killing two. The three who reached Black 
Hawk reported that the truce-bearers had been killed, as well as 
their two companions. Furious at this violation of faith, Black 
Hawk raised a yell, and sallied forth with forty braves to meet 
Stillman' s band, who by this time were out in search of the 
Indians. Black Hawk, too maddened to think of the difference 
of numbers, attacked the whites. To his surprise the enemy 
turned, and fled in a wild riot. Nor did they stop at their camp, 
which from its position was almost impregnable ; they fled in 
complete panic, sauve qui peut, through their camp, across 
prairie and rivers and swamps, to Dixon, twelve miles away. 
The first arrival reported that two thousand savages had swept 
down on Stillman' s camp and slaughtered all but himself. 
Before the next night all but eleven of the band had arrived. 

Stillman' s defeat, as this disgraceful affair is called, put all 
notion of peace out of Black Hawk' s mind, and he started out in 
earnest on the warpath. By the morning of the 15th, Governor 
Reynolds and his army were in pursuit of Black Hawk. But 
it was like pursuing a shadow. The Indians purposely confused 
their trail. Sometimes it was a broad path, then it suddenly 
radiated to all points. The whites broke their bands, and pur- 
sued the savages here and there, never overtaking them, though 
now and then coming suddenly on some terrible evidences of 
their presence— a frontier home deserted and burned, slaugh- 
tered cattle, scalps suspended where the army could not fail to 
see them. 





i '^^^^j 




aK . 





■ ■ _5r- " - 

^ .^ r ^T- 

7 -^f^^ 


From a photograph made for this work . Bowling Green's log cabin, half a mile north of New 
Salem, just under the bluff, still stands, but long since ceased to be a dwelling-house, and is now a 
tumble-down old stable. Here Lincoln was a frequent boarder, especially during the period of his 
closest application to the study of the law. Stretched out on the cellar door of this cabin, reading 
a book, he met for the first time " Dick " Yates, then a college student at Jacksonville, and destined 
to become the great "War Governor" of the State. Yates had come home with William G. 
Greene to spend his vacation, and Greene took him around to Bowling Green's house to introduce 
him to "his friend, Abe Lincoln." Unhappily there is nowhere in existence a picture of the original 
occupant of this humble cabin. Bowling Green was one of the leading citizens of the county. He 
was County Commissioner from 1826 to 1828 ; he was for many years a justice of the peace ; he was a 
prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and a very active and uncompromising Whig. The 
friendship between him and Lincoln, beginning at a very early day, continued until his death, in 1842. 

This fruitless warfare exasperated the volunteers ; they 
threatened to leave, and their officers had great difficulty in 
making them obey orders. On reaching a point on the Rock 
River, beyond which lay the Indian country, the men under Colo- 
nel Zachary Taylor refused to cross, urging that they had vol- 
unteered only to defend the State, and had the right to refuse to 
go out of its borders. Taylor heard them to the end, and then 
said : "I feel that all gentlemen here are my equals ; in reality, 
I am persuaded that many of them will, in a few years, be my 
superiors, and perhaps, in the capacity of members of Congress, 
arbiters of the fortunes and reputation of humble servants of 
the Republic, like myself. I expect then to obey them as inter- 
preters of the will of the people ; and the best proof that I will 
obey them is now to observe the orders of those whom the people 
have already put in the place of authority to which many gen- 
tlemen around me justly aspire. In plain English, gentlemen 
and fellow- citizens, the word has been passed on to me from 


Washington to follow Black Hawk and to take you with me as 
soldiers. I mean to do both. There are the flatboats drawn 
up on the shore, and here are Uncle Sam's men drawn up behind 
you on the prairie." The volunteers knew true grit when they 
met it. They dissolved their meeting and crossed the river with- 
out Uncle Sam' s men being called into action. 



HE march in pursuit of the Indians led the army 
to Ottawa, where the volunteers became so dis- 
satisfied that on May 27th and 28th Governor 
Reynolds mustered them out. But a force in 
the field was essential until a new levy was raised, 
and a few of the men were patriotic enough to 
offer their services, among them Lincoln, who, 
on May 29th, was mustered in, at the mouth of 
the Fox River, by a man in whom, thirty years 
later, he was to have a keen interest — General Robert Anderson, 
commander at Fort Sumter in 1861. Lincoln became a private in 
Captain Elijah lies' s company of Independent Rangers, not 
brigaded — a company made up, says Captain lies in his "Foot- 
steps and Wanderings," of "generals, colonels, captains, and 
distinguished men from the disbanded army." General Ander- 
son says that at this muster Lincoln's arms were valued at forty 
dollars, his horse and equipment at one hundred and twenty 
dollars. The Independent Rangers were a favored body, used to 
carry messages and to spy on the enemy. They had no camp 
duties, and " drew rations as often as they pleased ; " so that as 
a private Lincoln was really better off than as a captain. * 

* William Cullen Bryant, who was in Illinois in 1832, at the time of the Black Hawk 
War, used to tell of meeting in his travels in the State a company of Illinois volunteers, 
commanded by a " raw youth " of " quaint and pleasant " speech, who, he learned after- 
wards, was Abraham Lincoln. As Lincoln's captaincy ended on May 27th, and Mr. 
Bryant did not reach Illinois until June 12th, and as he never came nearer than fifty 
miles to the Rapids of the Illinois, where the body of rangers to which Lincoln be- 
longed was encamped, it is evident that the " raw youth " could not have been Lincoln, 
much as one would like to believe that it was. 


From a photograph in the collection of T. H. Bartlett, the sculptor, of Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. 
Bartlett regards this as his earliest portrait of Mr. Lincoln, but does not know when or where it was taken. 
This portrait is also in the Oldroyd collection at Washington, D. C, where it is dated 1856. The collection 
of Lincoln portraits owned by Mr. Bartlett is the most complete and the most intelligently arranged which 
we have examined. Mr. Bartlett began collecting fully twenty years ago, his aim being to secure data for 
a study of Mr. Lincoln from a physiognomical point of view. He has probably the earliest portrait which 
exists, the one here given, excepting the early daguerreotype owned by Mr. Robert Lincoln. He has a 
large number of the Illinois pictures made from 1858 to 1860, such as the Gilmer picture (page 309); a large 
collection of Brady photographs, the masks, Volk's bust, and other interesting portraits. These he has 
studied from a sculptor's point of view, comparing them carefully with the portraiture of other men, as 
Webster and Emerson. Mr. Bartlett has embodied his study of Mr. Lincoln in an illustrated lecture, 
which is a model of what such a lecture should be, suggestive, human, delightful. All his fine collection 
of Lincoln portraits Mr. Bartlett has put freely at our disposal, an act of courtesy and generosity for which 
the readers of this work, as well as the authors, cannot fail to be deeply grateful. 



The achievements and tribulations of the body of rangers to 
which he belonged are told with interesting detail by Major 

''While the other companies were ordered to scout the coun- 
try, ' ; says Major lies, "mine was held by General Atkinson in 
camp as a reserve. One company was ordered to go to Rock 
River (now Dixon) and report to Colonel Taylor (afterwards 
President), who had been left there with a few United States 
soldiers to guard the army supplies. The place was also made 
a point of rendezvous. Just as the company got to Dixon, a 
man came in, and reported that he and six others were on the 
road to Galena, and, in passing through a point of timber about 
twenty miles north of Dixon, they were fired on and six killed, he 
being the only one to make his escape. . . . Colonel Taylor 
ordered the company to proceed to the place, bury the dead, go 
on to Galena, and get all the information they could about the 
Indians. But the company took fright, and came back to the 
Illinois River, helter-skelter. 

"General Atkinson then called on me, and wanted to know 
how I felt about taking the trip ; that he was exceedingly anxious 
to open communication with Galena, and to find out, if possible, 
the whereabouts of the Indians before the new troops arrived. I 
answered the general that myself and men were getting rusty, 
and were anxious to have something to do, and that nothing 
would please us better than to be ordered out on an expedition ; 
that I would find out how many of my men had good horses and 
were otherwise well equipped, and what time we wanted to pre- 
pare for the trip. I called on him again at sunset, and reported 
that I had about fifty men well equipped and eager, and that we 
wanted one day to make preparations. He said go ahead, and he 
would prepare our orders. 

"The next day was a busy one, running bullets and getting 
our flint-locks in order — we had no percussion locks then. 
General Henry, one of my privates, who had been promoted to 
the position of major of one of the companies, volunteered to go 
with us. I considered him a host, as he had served as lieu- 
tenant in the war of 1812, under General Scott, and was in the 
battle of Lundy's Lane, and several other battles. He was 
a good drill officer, and could aid me much. . . . After 
General Atkinson handed me my orders, and my men were 
mounted and ready for the trip, I felt proud of them, and was 


confident of onr success, although numbering only forty-eight. 
Several good men failed to go, as they had gone down to the foot 
of the Illinois Rapids, to aid in bringing up the boats of army 
supplies. We wanted to be as little encumbered as possible, and 
took nothing that could be dispensed with, other than blankets, 
tin cups, coffee-pots, canteens, a wallet of bread, and some fat 
side meat, which we ate raw or broiled. 

" When we arrived at Rock River, we found Colonel Taylor 
on the opposite side, in a little fort built of prairie sod. He sent 
an officer in a canoe to bring me over. I said to the officer that I 
would come over as soon as I got my men in camp. I knew of a 
good spring half a mile above, and I determined to camp at it. 
After the men were in camp I called on General Henry, and he 
accompanied me. On meeting Colonel Taylor (he looked like a 
man born to command) he seemed a little piqued that I did not 
come over and camp with him. I told him we felt just as safe as 
if quartered in his one-horse fort ; besides, I knew what his 
orders would be, and wanted to try the mettle of my men before 
starting on the perilous trip I knew he would order. He said 
the trip was perilous, and that since the murder of the six men 
all communication with Galena had been cut off, and it might be 
besieged ; that he wanted me to proceed to Galena, and that he 
would have my orders for me in the morning, and asked what 
outfit I wanted. I answered, ' Nothing but coffee, side meat, and 

" In the morning my orders were to collect and bury the re- 
mains of the six men murdered, proceed to Galena, make a care- 
ful search for the signs of Indians, and find out whether they were 
aiming to escape by crossing the river below Galena, and get all 
information at Galena of their possible whereabouts before the 
new troops were ready to follow them. 

"John Dixon, who kept a house of entertainment here, and 
had sent his family to Galena for safety, joined us, and hauled 
our wallets of corn and grub in his wagon, which was a great 
help. Lieutenant Harris, U.S.A., also joined us. I now had 
fifty men to go with me on the march. I detailed two to march 
on the right, two on the left, and two in advance, to act as look- 
outs to prevent a surprise. They were to keep in full view of us, 
and to remain out until we camped for the night. Just at sun- 
down of the first day, while we were at lunch, our advance 
scouts came in under whip and reported Indians. We bounced 

his v 


From a photograph made for this work. After a portrait by George Catlin, in the National 
Museum at Washington, D. C, and here reproduced by the courtesy of the director Mr. G. 
Brown Goode. Makataimeshekiakiak, the Black Hawk Sparrow, was born m 1767, on the Kock 
-as not a chief by birth, but through the valor of his deeds became the leader of 
He was imaginative and discontented, and bred endless trouble in the Northwest by 
his complaints and his visionary schemes. He was completely under the influence of the British 
agent* and in 1812 joined Tecumseh in the war against the United States. After the close of that 
war the Hawk was peaceable until driven to resistance by the encroachments of the squatters. 
After the battle of Bad Axe he escaped, and was not captured until betrayed by two ^ mneba- 
eoe« He was taken to Fort Armstrong, where he signed a treaty of peace, and then was trans- 
ferred as a prisoner of war to Jefferson Barracks, now St. Louis, where Catlin painted him. 
Catlin, in his » Eight Years," says : » When I painted this chief he was dressed in a plain suit of 
buckskin, with a string of wampum in his ears and on his neck, and held in his hand his medi- 
cine-bag, which was the skin of a black hawk, from which he had taken his name, and the tail of 
which made him a fan, which he was almost constantly using." In April, 1833, Black Hawk and 
the other prisoners of war were transferred to Fortress Monroe. They were released in June and 
made a trip through the Atlantic cities before returning West. Black Hawk settled in Iowa, where 
he and his followers were given a small reservation in Davis County. He died in 1838. 




; __ 







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II ^ 

^9 S J^e 

r | 





= - --__"- =225 


to our feet, and, having a full view 
of the road for a long distance, could 
see a large body coming toward us. 
All eyes were turned to John Dixon, 
who, as the last one dropped out of 
sight coming over a ridge, pronounced 
them Indians. I stationed my men in 
a ravine crossing the road, where any 
one approaching could not see us until 
within thirty yards ; the horses I had 
driven back out of sight in a valley. 
I asked General Henry to take com- 
mand. He said, ' No ; stand at your 
post,' and walked along the line, talk- 
ing to the men in a low, calm voice. 
Lieutenant Harris, U.S.A., seemed 
much agitated ; he ran up and down 
the line, and exclaimed, ' Captain, we 
will catch hell!' He had horse- 
pistols, belt-pistols, and a double- 
barrelled gun. He would pick the 
flints, reprime, and lay the horse- 
pistols at his feet. When he got all 
ready he passed along the line slowly, 
and seeing the nerves of the men all 
quiet— after General Henry's talk to 
them — said, ' Captain, we are safe ; 
we can whip five hundred Indians.' 
Instead of Indians, they proved to be 
the command of General Dodge, from 
Galena, of one hundred and fifty men, 
en route to find out what had become 
of General Atkinson's army, as, since 
the murder of the six men, communi- 
cation had been stopped for more than ten days. My look-out 
at the top of the hill did not notify us, and we were not unde- 
ceived until they got within thirty steps of us. My men then 
raised a yell and ran to finish their lunch. . . . 

" When we got within fifteen miles of Galena, on Apple Creek, 
we found a stockade filled with women and children and a few 
men, all terribly frightened. The Indians had shot at and chased 

From a photograph made for this 
work. After a painting in the collection 
of the State Historical Society of Wiscon- 
sin, and here reproduced through the 
courtesy of the secretary, Mr. Reuben G. 
Thwaites. The chief of an Indian vil- 
lage on the Rock River, White Cloud 
was half Winnebago, half Sac. He was 
false and crafty, and it was largely his 
counsels which induced Black Hawk to 
recross the Mississippi in 1832. He was 
captured with Black Hawk, was a pris- 
oner at both Jefferson Barracks and 
Fortress Monroe, and made the tour of 
the Atlantic cities with his friends. The 
above portrait was made at Fortress Mon- 
roe by R. M. Sully. Catlin also painted 
White Cloud at Jefferson Barracks in 
1832. He describes him as about forty 
years old at that time, "nearly six feet 
high, stout and athletic." He said he 
let his hair grow out to please the 
whites. Catlin's picture shows him 
with a very heavy head of hair. The 
prophet, after his return from the East, 
remained among his people until his 
death in 1840 or 1841. 




From a photograph made for this 
work. After an improved replica of the 
original portrait painted by R. M. Sully 
at Fortress Monroe in 1833, and now in 
the Museum of the State Historical So- 
ciety of Wisconsin, at Madison. It is 
reproduced through the courtesy of the 
secretary of the society, Mr. Rueben G. 

two men 
that after- 
noon, who 
made their 
escape to 
the stock- 
ade. They 
insisted on 
our quar- 
tering in 
the fort, but 
instead we 
camped one 
yards out- 
side, and 
slept — 
what little 
sleep we 
did get — 
with our 

guns on our arms. General Henry did 
not sleep, but drilled my men all night ; 
so the moment they were called they 
would bounce to their feet and stand 
in two lines, the front ready to fire, 
and fall back to reload, while the 
others stepped forward to take their 
places. They were called up a num- 
ber of times, and we got but little 
sleep. We arrived at Galena the next 
day, and found the citizens prepared 
to defend the place. They were glad 
to see us, as it had been so long since 
they had heard from General Atkin- 
son and his army. The few Indians 

prowling about Galena and murdering were simply there as a ruse. 
' ' On our return from Galena, near the forks of the Apple 
River and Gratiot roads, we could see General Dodge on the 
Gratiot road, on his return from Rock River. His six scouts had 
discovered my two men that I had allowed to drop in the rear — 


From a photograph made for this 
work. After a painting by R. M. Sully 
in the collection of the State Historical 
Society of Wisconsin, and here repro- 
duced through the courtesy of the secre- 
tary, Mr. Reuben G. Thwaites. Black 
Hawk had two sons : the elder was the 
Whirling Thunder, the younger the 
Roaring Thunder ; both were in the war, 
and both were taken prisoners with their 
father, and were with him at Jefferson 
Barracks and at Fortress Monroe and on 
the trip through the Atlantic cities. At 
Jefferson Barracks Catlin painted them, 
and the pictures are in the National Mu- 
seum. While at Fortress Monroe the 
above picture of Whirling Thunder was 
painted. A pretty anecdote is told of the 
Whirling Thunder. While on their tour 
through the East the Indians were invit- 
ed to various gatherings, and much was 
done for their entertainment. On one of 
these occasions a young lady sang a 
ballad. Whirling Thunder listened in- 
tently, and when she ended he plucked 
an eagle's feather from his head-dress 
and, giving it to a white friend, said : 
" Take that to your mocking-bird 
squaw." Black Hawk's sons remained 
with him until his death in 1838, and 
then removed with the Sacs and Foxes 
to Kansas. 



two men who had been in Still- 
man's defeat, and, having weak 
horses, were allowed to fall be- 
hind. Having weak horses they 
had fallen in the rear about two 
miles, and each took the other 
to be Indians, and such an ex- 
citing race I never saw, until 
they got sight of my company ; 
then they came to a sudden halt, 
and after looking at us a few 
moments, wheeled their horses 
and gave up the chase. My two 
men did not know but that they 
were Indians until they came up 
with us and shouted ' Indians ! ' 
They had thrown away their 
wallets and guns, and used their 
ramrods as whips. 

"The few houses on the road 
that usually accommodated the 
travel were all standing, but 
vacant, as we went. On our re- 
turn we found them burned by 
the Indians. On my return to the Illinois River I reported to 
General Atkinson, saying that, from all we could learn, the 
Indians were aiming to escape by going north, with the inten- 
tion of crossing the Mississippi River above Galena. The new 
troops had just arrived and were being mustered into service. 
My company had only been organized for twenty days, and as 
the time had now expired, the men were mustered out. All but 
myself again volunteered for the third time." 


At the breaking out of the Black Hawk War, 
Zaehary Taylor, afterwards general in the Mexi- 
can War, and finally President of the United States, 
was colonel of the First Infantry. He joined At- 
kinson at the beginning of the war, and was in 
active service until the end of the campaign. 


On June 20th Lincoln was mustered in again, by Major Ander- 
son, as a member of an independent company under Captain 
Jacob M. Early. His arms were valued this time at only fifteen 
dollars, his horse and equipment at eighty-five dollars.* 

* See "Wisconsin Historical Collections," Volume X., for Major Anderson's remi- 
niscences of the Black Hawk War. 


Tomahawk. Indian Pipe. Powder-horn. 

Flint-lock Rifle. Indian Flute. 

Indian Knife. 


From a photograph made for this work. This group of relics of the Black Hawk War was selected for 
us from the collection in the museum of the Wisconsin Historical Society by the secretary, Mr. Reuben G. 
Thwaites. The coat and chapeau belonged to General Dodge, an important leader in the war. The Indian 
relics are a tomahawk, a Winnebago pipe, a Winnebago flute, and a knife. The powder-horn and the flint- 
lock rifle are the only volunteer articles. One of the survivors of the war, Mr. Elijah Herring of Stockton, 
Illinois, says of the flintlock rifles used by the Illinois volunteers : " They were constructed like the old- 
fashioned rifle, only in place of a nipple for a cap they had a pan in which was fixed an oil flint which the 
hammer struck when it came down, instead of the modern cap. The pan was filled with powder grains, 
enough to catch the spark and communicate it to the load in the gun. These guns were all right, and rarely 
missed fire on a dry, clear day; but unless they were covered well, the dews of evening would dampen the 
powder, and very often we were compelled to withdraw the charge and load them over again. We had a 
gunsmith with us, whose business it was to look after the guns for the whole regiment ; and when a gun was 
found to be damp, it was his duty to get his tools and ' draw ' the load. At that time the Cramer lock and 
triggers had just been put on the market, and my rifle was equipped with these improvements, a fact of 
which I was very proud. Instead of one trigger my rifle had two, one set behind the other — the hind one 
to cock the gun, and the front one to shoot it. The man Cramer sold his lock and triggers in St. Louis, 
and I was one of the first to use them." 

The army moved up Rock River soon after the middle of 
June. Black Hawk was overrunning the country, and scatter- 
ing death wherever he went. The settlers were wild with fear, 
and most of the settlements were abandoned. At a sudden 
sound, at the merest rumor, men, women, and children fled. "I 
well remember those troublesome times," says one old Illinois 
woman. "We often left our bread-dough unbaked, to rush to 


the Indian fort near by." When Mr. John Bryant, a brother of 
William C alien Bryant, visited the colony in Princeton, in 1832, 
he found it nearly broken np on account of the war. Every- 
where the crops were neglected, for the able-bodied men were 
volunteering. William Cullen Bryant, who, in June, 1834, trav- 
elled on horseback from Petersburg to near Pekin, and back, 
wrote home : ' ' Every few miles on our way we fell in with 
bodies of Illinois militia proceeding to the American camp, or 
saw where they had encamped for the night. They generally 
stationed themselves near a stream or a spring in the edge of a 
wood, and turned their horses to graze on the prairie. Their way 
was barked or girdled, and the roads through the uninhabited 
country were as much beaten and as dusty as the highways on 
New York Island. Some of the settlers complained that they 
made war upon the pigs and chickens. They were a hard-looking 
set of men, unkempt and unshaved, wearing shirts of dark calico, 
and sometimes calico capotes." 

Soon after the army moved up the Rock River, the indepen- 
dent spy company, of which Lincoln was a member, was sent 
with a brigade to the northwest, near Galena, in pursuit of the 
Hawk. The nearest Lincoln came to an actual engagement in 
the war was here. The skirmish of Kellogg' s Grove took place on 
June 25th ; Lincoln' s company came up soon after it was over, 
and helped bury the five men killed. It was probably to this 
experience that he referred when he told a friend once of com- 
ing on a camp of white scouts one morning just as the sun was 
rising. The Indians had surprised the camp, and had killed and 
scalped every man. 

" I remember just how those men looked," said Lincoln, "as 
we rode up the little hill where their camp was. The red light 
of the morning sun was streaming upon them as they lay heads 
towards us on the ground. And every man had a round red spot 
on the top of his head, about as big as a dollar, where the red- 
skins had taken his scalp. It was frightful, but it was gro- 
tesque ; and the red sunlight seemed to paint everything all 
over." Lincoln paused, as if recalling the vivid picture, and 
added, somewhat irrelevantly, ' ' I remember that one man had 
buckskin breeches on." 

By the end of the month the troops crossed into Michigan 
Territory — as Wisconsin was then called — and July was passed 
floundering in swamps and stumbling through forests, in pursuit 


of the now nearly exhausted Black Hawk. On July 10th, three 
weeks before the last battle of the war, that of Bad Axe, in 
which the whites finally massacred most of the Indian band, Lin- 
coln's company was disbanded at Whitewater, Wisconsin, and he 
and his friends started for home. The volunteers in returning 
suffered much from hunger. Mr. Durley of Hennepin, Illinois, 
who walked home from Rock Island, Illinois, says all he had to 
eat on the journey was meal and water baked in rolls of bark 
laid by the fire. Lincoln was little better off. The night before 
his company started from Whitewater he and one of his mess- 
mates had their horses stolen ; and, excepting when their more 
fortunate companions gave them a lift, they walked as far as 
Peoria, Illinois, where they bought a canoe, and paddled down 
the Illinois River to Havana. Here they sold the canoe, and 
walked across the country to New Salem. 



N returning to New Salem, Lincoln at once plunged 
into electioneering. He ran as "an avowed Clay 
man," and the county was stiffly Democratic. 
However, in those days political contests were 
almost purely personal. If the candidate was 
liked he was voted for irrespective of principles. 
"The Democrats of New Salem worked for Lin- 
coln out of their personal regard for him," said 
Stephen T. Logan, a young lawyer of Springfield, 
who made Lincoln's acquaintance in the campaign. "He was as 
stiff as a man could be in his Whig doctrines. They did this for 
him simply because he was popular ; because he was Lincoln." 

It was the custom for the candidates to appear at every 
gathering which brought the people out, and, if they had a 
chance, to make speeches. Then, as now, the farmers gathered 
at the county-seat, or at the largest town within their reach, 
on Saturday afternoons, to dispose of produce, buy supplies, 
see their neighbors, and get the news. During election times 
candidates were always present, and a regular feature of the day 



was listening to their speeches. Public sales, also, were gather- 
ings which they never missed, it being expected that after the 
"vandoo" the candidates would take the auctioneer's place. 

Lincoln let none of these chances to be heard slip. Accom- 
panied by his friends, generally including a few Clary's Grove 
Boys, he always was present. The first speech he made was 
after a sale at Pappsville. What he said there is not remem- 
bered ; but an illustration of the kind of man he was, interpo- 
lated into his discourse, made a lasting impression. A fight broke 
out in his audience while he was on the stand, and observing 
that one of his friends was being worsted, he bounded into 
the group of contestants, seized the fellow who had his supporter 
down, threw him "ten or twelve feet," remounted the platform, 
and finished the speech. Sangamon County could appreciate 
such a performance, and the crowd that day at Pappsville never 
forgot Lincoln. 

His appearance at Springfield at this time was of great im- 
portance to him. Springfield was not then a very attractive 
place. Bryant, visiting it in June, 1832, said that the houses 


^ ^ 


From a photograph loaned by S. J. Dodds of Lena, Illinois. 


were not as good as at Jackson- 
ville, "a considerable propor- 
tion of them being log cabins, 
and the whole town having an 
appearance of dirt and discom- 
fort." Nevertheless it was the 
largest town in the county, and 
among its inhabitants were many 
young men of education, birth, 
and energy. One of these men 
Lincoln had become well ac- 
quainted with in the Black Hawk 
War, Major John Stuart,* at 
that time a lawyer, and, like 
Lincoln, a candidate for the 
General Assembly. He met 
others at this time who were to 
be associated with him more or 
less closely in the future in both 
law and politics, such as Judge 
Logan and William Butler. 
With these men the manners 
which had won him the day at 
Pappsville were of no value; 
what impressed them was his 
" very sensible speech," and his 
decided individuality and origin- 

The election came off on 
August 6th. Lincoln was de- 

From a photograph 

Election of Mr. Robert 

* There were many prominent Americans 
in the Black Hawk War, with some of whom 
Lincoln became acquainted. Among the 
best known were General Robert Anderson ; 
Colonel Zachary Taylor; General Scott, 
afterwards candidate for President, and 
Lieutenant-General ; Henry Dodge, Gover- 
nor of the Territory of Wisconsin, and United 

States Senator; Hon. William L. D. Ewing and Hon. Sidney Breese, both United States 
Senators from Illinois; William S. Hamilton, a son of Alexander Hamilton; Colonel 
Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone; Lieutenant Albert Sydney Johnston, afterwards a 
Confederate general. Jefferson Davis was not in the war, according to the muster-rolls 
of his company, which report him absent on furlough from March 26 to August 18, 1832. 


Born iii Kentucky in 1805. In 1825 graduated 
at West Point. Anderson was on duty at the St. 
Louis Arsenal when the Black Hawk War broke 
out. He asked permission to join General Atkin- 
son, who commanded the expedition against the 
Indians ; was placed on his staff as Assistant In- 
spector-General, and was with him until the end 
of the war. Anderson twice mustered Lincoln 
into the service and once out. When General 
Scott was sent to take Atkinson's place, Ander- 
son was ordered to report to the former for duty, 
and was sent by him to take charge of the In- 
dians captured at Bad Axe. It was Anderson who 
conducted Black Hawk to Jefferson Barracks. 
His adjutant in this task was Lieutenant Jeffer- 
son Davis. From 1835-37 Anderson was an in- 
structor at West Point. He served in the Florida 
War in 1837-38, and was wounded at Molino del 
Rey in the Mexican War. In 1857 he was ap- 
pointed Major of the First Artillery. On Novem- 
ber 20, 1860, Anderson assumed command of the 
troops in Charleston Harbor. On April 14th he 
surrendered Fort Sumter, marching out with the 
honors of war. ne was made brigadier-general 
by Lincoln for his service. On account of failing 
health he was relieved from duty in October, 1861. 
In 1865 he was brevetted major-general. He died 
in France in 1871. 


feated. "This was the only time Abraham was ever defeated 
on a direct vote of the people," say his autobiographical notes. 
He had a consolation in his defeat, however, for in spite of the 
pronounced Democratic sentiments of his precinct, he received 
two hundred and seventy-seven votes out of three hundred cast. 
The facts upon this point are here stated for the first time. The 
biographers, as a rule, have agreed that Lincoln received all of 
the votes cast in the New Salem precinct, except three. Mr. 
Herndon places the total vote at 208 ; Mcolay and Hay, at 277 ; 
and Mr. Lincoln himself, in his autobiography, has said that he 
received all but seven of a total of 277 votes, basing his statement, 
no doubt, upon memory. An examination of the official poll-book 
in the county clerk's office at Springfield shows that all of these 
figures are erroneous ; exactly three hundred votes were cast. Of 
these Lincoln received 277. The fact remains, however — and it is 
a fact which has been commented upon by several of the biogra- 
phers as showing his phenomenal popularity — that the vote for 
Lincoln was far in excess of that given any other candidate. The 
twelve candidates, with the number of votes of each, were : Abra- 
ham Lincoln, 277 ; John T. Stewart, 182 ; William Carpenter, 136 ; 
John Dawson, 105 ; E. D. Taylor, 88 ; Archer G. Herndon, 84 ; 
Peter Cartwright, 62 ; Achilles Morris, 27 ; Thomas M. Neal, 21 ; 
Edward Robeson, 15 ; Zachariah Peters, 4 ; Richard Dunston, 4. 
Of the twenty-three who did not vote for Lincoln, ten re- 
frained from voting for representative at all, thus leaving only 
thirteen votes actually cast against Lincoln. Lincoln is not re- 
corded as voting. This defeat did not take him out of politics. 
The first civil office Lincoln ever held was that of clerk of the 
next election, in September. The report in his hand still exists ; 
as far as we know, it is his first official document. 


It was in August, 1832, that Lincoln made his unsuccessful 
canvass for the Illinois Assembly. The election over, he began 
to look for work. One of his friends, an admirer of his physical 
strength, advised him to become a blacksmith, but it was a trade 
which afforded little leisure for study, and for meeting and talk- 
ing with men ; and he had already resolved, it is evident, that 
books and men were essential to him. The only employment 
in New Salem which offered both support and the opportunities 




From a copy of a painting by Samuel M. Brookes, in the Museum of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 
The remnant of Black Hawk's force was slaughtered here on August 1st and 2d, while attempting to cross 
the Mississippi. Only about one hundred and fifty of his original band of one thousand escaped. 

he sought, was clerking in a store. But the stores of New Salem 
were in more need of customers than of clerks. The business 
had been greatly overdone. In the fall of 1832 there were at 
least four stores in New Salem. The most pretentious was that 
of Hill and McNeill, which carried a large line of dry goods. The 
three others, owned respectively by the Herndon brothers, 
Reuben Radford, and James Rutledge, were groceries. 


Failing to secure employment at any of these establishments, 
Lincoln resolved to buy a store. He w T as not long in finding 
an opportunity to purchase. James Herndon had already sold 
out his half interest in Herndon Brothers' store to William 
F. Berry ; and Row r an Herndon, not getting along well with 
Berry, was only too glad to find a purchaser of his half in the 
person of " Abe " Lincoln. Berry was as poor as Lincoln ; but 
that w r as not a serious obstacle, for their notes were accepted 
for the Herndon stock of goods. They had barely hung out 


their sign when something happened which threw another store 
into their hands. Reuben Radford had made himself obnoxious 
to the Clary' s Grove Boys, and one night they broke in his doors 
and windows, and overturned his counters and sugar barrels. 
It was too much for Radford, and he sold out next day to 
William G. Green for a four-hundred-dollar note signed by 
Green. At the latter' s request, Lincoln made an inventory of 
the stock, and then offered him six hundred and fifty dollars for it 
— a proposition which was cheerfully accepted. Berry and Lin- 
coln, being unable to pay cash, assumed the four-hundred-dollar 
note payable to Radford, and gave Green their joint note for two 
hundred and fifty dollars. The little grocery owned by James 
Rutledge was the next to succumb. Berry and Lincoln bought 
it at a bargain, their joint note taking the place of cash. The 
three stocks were consolidated. Their aggregate cost must have 
been not less than fifteen hundred dollars. Berry and Lincoln 
had secured a monopoly of the grocery business in New Salem. 
Within a few weeks two penniless men had become the proprie- 
tors of three stores, and had stopped buying only because there 
were no more to purchase. 

William F. Berry, the partner of Lincoln, was the son of a 
Presbyterian minister, the Rev. John Berry, who lived on Rock 
Creek, five miles from New Salem. The son had strayed from 
the footsteps of the father, for he was a hard drinker, a gambler, 
a fighter, and "a very wicked young man." Lincoln cannot in 
truth be said to have chosen such a partner, but rather to have 
accepted him from the force of circumstances. It required only 
a little time to make plain that the partnership was wholly 
uncongenial. Lincoln displayed little business capacity. He 
trusted largely to Berry, and Berry rapidly squandered the 
profits of the business in riotous living. Lincoln loved books as 
Berry loved liquor, and hour after hour he was stretched out on 
the counter of the store, or under a shade tree, reading Shake- 
speare or Burns. 

His acquaintance with the works of these two writers dates 
from this period. In New Salem there was one of those curi- 
ous individuals sometimes found in frontier settlements, half 
poet, half loafer, incapable of earning a living in any steady 
employment, yet familiar with good literature and capable of 
enjoying it — Jack Kelso. He repeated passages from Shake- 
speare and Burns incessantly over the odd jobs he under- 


From a photograph loaned by H. W. Fay of DeKalb, Illinois. After Lincoln's nomination 
for the presidency, Alexander Hesler of Chicago published a portrait he had made of Lincoln in 
1857 (see page 49). At the same time he put out a portrait of Douglas. The contrast was 
so great between the two, and in the opinion of the politicians so much in Douglas's favor, that 
they told Hesler he must suppress Lincoln's picture ; accordingly the photographer wrote to 
Springfield, requesting Lincoln to call and sit again. Lincoln replied that his friends had de- 
cided that he remain in Springfield during the canvass, but that if Hesler would come to 
Springfield he would be " dressed up " and give him all the time he wanted. Hesler went 
to Springfield, and made at least four negatives, three of which are supposed to have been 
destroyed in the Chicago fire. The fourth is owned by Mr. George Ayers of Philadelphia. The 
photograph reproduced above is a print from one of the lost negatives. 


took, or as he idled by the streams — for he was a famous fisher- 
man — and Lincoln soon became one of his constant companions. 
The taste he formed in company with Kelso he retained through 

William D. Kelley records an incident which shows that Lin- 
coln had a really intimate knowledge of Shakespeare. Mr. Kelley 
had taken McDonongh, an actor, to call at the White House, 
and Lincoln began the conversation by saying : 

"'I am very glad to meet you, Mr. McDonongh, and am 
grateful to Kelley for bringing you in so early, for I want you to 
tell me something about Shakespeare's plays as they are con- 
structed for the stage. You can imagine that I do not get much 
time to study such matters, but I recently had a couple of talks 
with Hackett— Baron Hackett, as they call him— who is famous 
as Jack Falstaff, from whom I elicited few satisfactory replies, 
though I probed him with a good many questions.' 

"Mr. McDonongh," continues Mr. Kelley, "avowed his 
willingness to give the President any information in his pos- 
session, but protested that he feared he would not succeed where 
his friend Hackett had failed. 'Well, I don't know,' said the 
President, ' for Hackett' s lack of information impressed me with 
a doubt as to whether he had ever studied Shakespeare' s text, 
or had not been content with the acting edition of his plays.' 
He arose, went to a shelf not far from his table, and having 
taken down a well-thumbed volume of the ' Plays ' of Shakes- 
peare, resumed his seat, arranged his glasses, and having turned 
to ' Henry VI. ' and read with fine discrimination an extended 
passage, said : ' Mr. McDonough, can you tell me why those 
lines are omitted from the acting play \ There is nothing I have 
read in Shakespeare, certainly nothing in "Henry VI." or the 
"Merry Wives of Windsor,' 1 that surpasses its wit and humor.' 
The actor suggested the breadth of its humor as the only reason 
he could assign for its omission, but thoughtfully added that it 
was possible that if the lines were spoken they would require 
the rendition of another or other passages which might be objec- 

"'Your last suggestion,' said Mr. Lincoln, 'carries with it 
greater weight than anything Mr. Hackett suggested, but the 
first is no reason at all ; ' and after reading another passage, he 
said, 'This is not withheld, and where it passes current there 
can be no reason for withholding the other.' . . . And, as if 



feeling the impropriety 
of preferring the player 
to the parson [there was 
a clergyman in the room], 
he turned to the chaplain 
and said: 'From your 
calling it is probable that 
you do not know that the 
acting plays which peo- 
ple crowd to hear are not 
always those planned by 
their reputed authors. 
Thus, take the stage edi- 
tion of ''Richard III." 
It oijens with a passage 
from "Henry VI.," after 
which come portions of 
"Richard III.," then 
another scene from 
"Henry VI.;" and the 
finest soliloquy in the 
play, if we may judge 
from the m any quota- 
tions it furnishes, and 
the frequency with which 
it is heard in amateur 
exhibitions, was never 
seen by Shakespeare, but 
was written — was it not, 
Mr. McDonough I — after 
his death, by Colley Cib- 
"Having disposed, for the present, of questions relating to 
the stage editions of the plays, he recurred to his standard copy, 
and . . . read, or repeated from memory, extracts from sev- 
eral of the plays, some of which embraced a number of lines. 
. . . He interspersed his remarks with extracts striking from 
their similarity to, or contrast with, something of Shakespeare's, 
from Byron, Rogers, Campbell, Moore, and other English poets."* 



On June 24, 1832, Black Hawk attacked Apple River Fort, 
fourteen miles east of Galena, Illinois, but was unable to 
drive out the inmates. The next day he attacked a spy bat- 
talion of one hundred and fifty men at Kellogg's Grove, sis- 
teen miles farther east. A detachment of volunteers relieved 
the battalion, and drove off the savages, about fifteen of 
whom were killed. The whites lost five men, who were 
buried at various points in the grove. During the summer ■ 
of 1886 the remains of these men were collected and, with 
those of five or six other victims of the war, were placed 
together under the monument here represented. — See " The 
Black Hawk War," by Reuben G. Thwaites, Vol. XH. in 
Wisconsin Historical Collections. This account of the Black 
Hawk War is the most trustworthy, complete, and interesting 
that has been made. 

Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln." Edited by Allen Thorndike Rice, 


After a steel engraving in the Governor's office, Springfield, Illinois. John Reynolds, Governor of 
Illinois from 1831 to 1834, was horn in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1788. He was 
of Irish parentage. When he was six months old his parents moved to Tennessee. In 1800 they removed 
to Illinois. When twenty years old, John Reynolds went to Knoxville, Tennessee, to college, where he 
spent two years. He was admitted to the bar at Kaskaskia in 1812. In the war of 1812 he rendered dis- 
tinguished service, earning the title of "the Old Ranger." He began the practice of law in the spring of 
1814. In 1818 he was made an associate justice of the Supreme Court ; in 1826 he was elected a member of 
the legislature ; and in 1830, after a stirring campaign, he was chosen Governor of Hlinois. The most im- 
portant event of his administration was the Black Hawk War. He was prompt in calling out the militia to 
subdue the Black Hawk, and went upon the field in person. In November, 1834, just before the close of 
his term as Governor, he resigned to become a member of Congress. In 1837, aided by others, he built the 
first railroad in the State—a short line of six miles from his coal mine in the Mississippi bluff to the bank 
of the river opposite St. Louis. It was operated by horse-power. He again became a member of the legis- 
lature in 1846 and 1852, during the latter term being Speaker of the House. In 1860, in his seventy-third 
year, he was an anti-Douglas delegate to the Charleston convention, and received the most distinguished 
attentions from the Southern delegates. After the October elections, when it became apparent that Lincoln 
would be elected, he issued an address advising the support of Douglas. His sympathies were with the 
South, though in 1832 he strongly supported President Jackson in the suppression of the South Carolina 
milliners. He died in Belleville in May, 1865. Governor Reynolds was a quaint and forceful character. 
He was a man of some learning ; but in conversation (and he talked much) he rarely rose above the odd 
Western vernacular of which he was so complete a master. He was the author of two books ; one an 
autobiography, and the other "The Pioneer History of Illinois." 



T was not only Burns and Shakespeare that inter- 
fered with the grocery-keeping ; Lincoln had 
begun seriously to read law. His first acquaint- 
ance with the subject had been made when he 
was a mere lad in Indiana and a copy of the 
"Revised Statutes of Indiana" had fallen into 
his hands. The very copy he used is still in 
existence, and, fortunately, in hands where it is 
safe. The book was owned by Mr. David Turn- 
ham of Gentry ville, and was given in 1 865 by him to Mr. Herndon, 
who placed it in the Lincoln Memorial collection of Chicago. In 
December, 1894, this collection was sold in Philadelphia, and the 
"Statutes of Indiana" was bought by Mr. William Hoffman 
"Winters, Librarian of the New York Law Institute, and through 
his courtesy I have been allowed to examine it. The book is 
worn, the title page is gone, and a few leaves from the end are 
missing. The title page of a duplicate volume which Mr. Win- 
ters kindly showed me reads : ' ' The Revised Laws of Indiana, 
adojjted and enacted by the General Assembly at their eighth 
session. To which are prefixed the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of 
the State of Indiana, and sundry other documents connected 
with the Political History of the Territory and State of Indiana. 
Arranged and published by authority of the General Assembly. 
Corydon: Printed by Carpenter and Douglass, 1824." 

We know from Dennis Hanks, from Mr. Turnham, to whom 
the book belonged, and from other associates of Lincoln's at the 
time, that he read the book intently and discussed its contents 
intelligently. It was a remarkable volume for a thoughtful lad 
whose mind had been fired already by the history of Washing- 
ton ; for it opened with that wonderful document, the Declaration 
of Independence, a document which became, as Mr. John G. 
Mcolay says, " his political chart and inspiration." Following 
the Declaration of Independence was the Constitution of the 


United States, the Act of Virginia passed in 1783 by which the 
" Territory North Westward of the river Ohio" was conveyed to 
the United States, and the Ordinance of 1787 for governing this 
territory, containing that clause on which Lincoln in the future 
based many an argument on the slavery question. This article, 
No. 6 of the Ordinance, reads: "There shall be neither slavery 
nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in 
the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly 
convicted : provided always, that any person escaping into the 
same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one 
of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed, 
and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labour or service, 
as aforesaid." 

Following this was the Constitution and the Revised Laws of 
Indiana, three hundred and seventy-five pages, of five hundred 
words each, of statutes — enough law, if thoroughly digested, to 
make a respectable lawyer. When Lincoln finished this book, 
as he had, probably, before he was eighteen, we have reason to 
believe that he understood the principles on which the nation 
was founded, how the State of Indiana came into being, and 
how it was governed. His understanding of the subject was clear 
and practical, and he applied it in his reading, thinking, and dis- 

It was after he had read the Laws of Indiana that Lincoln 
had free access to the library of his admirer, Judge John Pitcher 
of Rockport, Indiana, where, undoubtedly, he examined many 
law-books. But from the time he left Indiana in 1830 he had 
no legal reading until one day soon after the grocery was started, 
when there happened one of those trivial incidents which so 
often turn the current of a life. It is best told in Lincoln's own 
words.* " One day a man who was migrating to the West drove 
up in front of my store with a wagon which contained his family 
and household plunder. He asked me if I would buy an old 
barrel for which he had no room in his wagon, and which he 
said contained nothing of special value. I did not want it, but 

* This incident was told by Lincoln to Mr. A. J. Conant the artist, who in 1860 
painted his portrait in Springfield. Mr. Conant, in order to catch Mr. Lincoln's ani- 
mated expression, had engaged him in conversation, and had questioned him about his 
early life ; and it was in the course of their conversation that this incident came out. 
It is to be found in a delightful and suggestive article entitled, " My Acquaintance with 
Abraham Lincoln," contributed by Mr. Conant to the "Liber Scriptorum," and by his 
permission quoted here. 



From a photograph made for this biography. 


After a painting by the late Mrs. Obed 
Lewis, niece of Major lies, and owned 
by Mr. Obed Lewis, Springfield, Illinois. 
Elijah lies was born in Kentucky, March 
28, 1796, and when young went to Mis- 
souri. There he heard marvellous stories 
about the Sangamon Valley, and he re- 
solved to go thither. Springfield had just 
been staked out in the wilderness, and he 
reached the place in time to erect the first 
building — a rude hut in which he kept a 
store. This was in 1821. "In the early 
days in Illinois," he wrote in 1883, "it was 
hard to find good material for law-makers. 
I was elected a State Senator in 1826, and 
again for a second term. The Senate then 
comprised thirteen members, and the House 
twenty-five." In 1827 he was elected major 
in the command of Colonel T. NcNeal, in- 
tending to fight the Winncbagoes, but no 
fighting occurred. In the Black Hawk 
War of 1832, after his term as a private in 
Captain Dawson's company had expired, 
he was elected captain of a new company 
of independent rangers. In this company 
Lincoln reenlisted as a private. Major lies 
lived at Springfield to the end of his life. 
He died September 4, 1883. 

plenty of time 
summer days, 

to oblige him I bought it, and paid 
him, I think, half a dollar for it. 
Without further examination, I put 
it away in the store, and forgot all 
about it. Some time after, in over- 
hauling things, I came upon the 
barrel, and emptying it upon the 
floor to see what it contained, I 
found at the bottom of the rubbish 
a complete edition of Blackstone's 
Commentaries. I began to read 
those famous works, and I had 
for during the long 
when the farmers 
were busy with their crops, my cus- 
tomers were few and far between. 
The more I read " — this he said 
with unusual emphasis — " the more 
intensely interested I became. 
Never in my whole life was my 
mind so thoroughly absorbed. I 
read until I devoured them." 


But all this was fatal to busi- 
ness, and by spring it was evident 
that something must be done to 
stimulate the grocery sales. 

On the 6th of March, 1833, the 
County Commissioner's Court of 
Sangamon County granted the firm 
of Berry and Lincoln a license to 
keep a tavern at New Salem. 

It is probable that the license was 
procured to enable the firm to retail 

the liquors which they had in stock, 
and not for keeping a tavern. In a community in which liquor- 
drinking w T as practically universal, at a time when whiskey was 
as legitimate an article of merchandise as coffee or calico, when 


. /CL 

o.iiv ol Nfiinti : S 

iv^'/we.-f ■ 

C C( ID 

M. T 


command, in the Regiment impandea dj \jou j»ami el m. i uomi . c.isn 

mand of Generals S. Wiim&mn ami IT. Atkinson, called iiito*w.( 

the Commander-in-Chief 01' til Militia of the State, for !'.. protect* n ol tern Front* 

against an Invasion of the BritSih Band of Sac and oth< 

Y%^ &*<**# 


no family was without a jug, when the minister of the gospel 
could take his "dram" without any breach of propriety, it is not 
surprising that a reputable young man should have been found 
selling whiskey. Liquor was sold at all groceries, but it could 
not be lawfully sold in a smaller quantity than one quart. The 
law, however, was not always rigidly observed, and it was the 
custom of storekeepers to treat their patrons. Each of the three 
groceries which Berry and Lincoln acquired had the usual sup- 
ply of liquors, and it was only good business that they should 
seek a way to dispose of the surplus quickly and profitably — 
an end which could be best accomplished by selling it over the 
counter by the glass. To do this lawfully required a tavern 
license ; and it is a warrantable conclusion that such was the 
chief aim of Berry and Lincoln in procuring a franchise of this 
character. We are fortified in this conclusion by the coincidence 
that three other grocers of JSTew Salem — William Clary, Henry 
Sincoe, and George Warberton — were among those who took out 
tavern licenses. To secure the lawful privilege of selling whis- 
key by the "dram" was no doubt their purpose; for their 
"taverns" were as mythical as the inn of Berry and Lincoln. 
Lincoln may, of course, have desired to go into the tavern busi- 
ness and so have taken out a license, but it is certain that he 


never realized his ambition and that it was only in the grocery 
that he sold liquor. 

The license issued to Berry and Lincoln read as follows 

Ordered that William F. Berry, in the name of Berry and 
Lincoln, have a license to keep a tavern in New Salem to con- 
tinue 12 months from this date, and that they pay one dollar 
in addition to the six dollars heretofore paid as per Treasurer's 
receipt, and that they be allowed the following rates (viz.) : 

French Brandy per * pt 25 

Peach " " " 18} 

Apple " " " 13 

Holland Gin " " 18* 

Domestic " " 12* 

Wine " " 25 

Rum " " 18* 

Whiskey " " 12* 

Breakfast, dinner or supper 25 

Lodging per night 12* 

Horse per night 25 

Single feed 12* 

Breakfast, dinner or supper for Stage Passengers 37* 

who gave bond as required by law. 

At the granting of a tavern license, the applicants therefor 
were required by law to file a bond. The bond given in the case 
of Berry and Lincoln was as follows : 

Know all men by these presents, we, William F. Berry, 
Abraham Lincoln and John Bowling Green, are held and 
firmly bound unto the County Commissioners of Sangamon 
County in the full sum of three hundred dollars to which pay- 
ment well and truly to be made we bind ourselves, our heirs, 
executors and administrators firmly by these presents, sealed 
with our seal and dated this 6th day of March A.D. 1833. 
Now the condition of this obligation is such that Whereas 
the said Berry & Lincoln has obtained a license from the 
County Commissioners Court to keep a tavern in the Town 
of New Salem to continue one year. Now if the said Berry 
& Lincoln shall be of good behavior and observe all the laws 
of this State relative to tavern keepers— then this obligation 
to be void or otherwise remain in full force. 

Abraham Lincoln [Seal] 
Wm. F. Berry [Seal] 
Bowling Green [Seal] 



This bond appears to have been written by the clerk of the 
Commissioners' Court ; and Lincoln's name was signed by some 
one other than himself, very likely by his partner Berry. 


The license seems to have stimulated the business, for the 
firm concluded to hire a clerk. The young man who secured 
this position was Daniel Green Burner, son of Isaac Burner, at 
whose house Lincoln for a time boarded. He is still living on a 
farm near Galesburg, Illinois, and is in the eighty-second year of 
his age. "The store building of Berry and Lincoln," says Mr. 
Burner, "was a frame building, not very large, one story in 
height, and contained two rooms. In the little back room Lincoln 
had a fireplace and a bed. There is where we slept. I clerked 
in the store through the winter of 1833-34, up to the 1st of 
March. While I was there they had nothing for sale but liquors. 
They may have had some groceries before that, but I am certain 
they had none then. I used to sell whiskey over their counter 
at six cents a glass — and charged it, too. N. A. Garland started 
a store, and Lincoln wanted Berry to ask his father for a loan, 
so they could buy out Garland ; but Berry refused, saying this 
was one of the last things he would think of doing." 

Among the other persons yet living who were residents with 
Lincoln of New Salem or its near neighborhood, are Mrs. Par- 
thenia W. Hill, aged seventy-nine years, widow of Samuel Hill, 
the New Salem merchant ; James McGrady Rutledge, aged 
eighty-one years ; John Potter, aged eighty-seven years ; and 
Thomas Watkins, aged seventy-one years — all now living at 
Petersburg, Illinois. Mrs. Hill, a woman of more than ordinary 
intelligence, did not become a resident of New Salem until 1835, 
the year in which she was married. Lincoln had then gone out 
of business, but she knew much of his store. " Berry and Lin- 
coln," she says, "did not keep any dry goods. They had a 
grocery, and I have always understood they sold whiskey." Mr. 
Rutledge, a nephew of James Rutledge the tavern-keeper, has a 
vivid recollection of the store. He says : "I have been in Berry 
and Lincoln' s store many a time. The building was a frame — one 
of the few frame buildings in New Salem. There were two rooms, 
and in the small back room they kept their whiskey. They had 
pretty much everything, except dry goods— sugar, coffee, some 

C>'ftaM eJbL&U+v. /uCoc aX <#L A^^ V/^- "? ^ 

££*- /ycos- eJaJb*** A3>< et 

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From the original now on file in the county clerk's office, Springfield, Illinois. The first civil office 
Lincoln ever held was that of election clerk, and the return made by him, of which a facsimile is here 
presented, was his first official document. All the men whose names appear on this election return are now 
dead, except William McNeely, now residing at Petersburg. John Clary lived at Clary's Grove ; John R. 
Herndon was "Row" Herndon, whose store Berry and Lincoln purchased, and at whose house Lincoln 
for a time boarded ; Baxter Berry was a relative of Lincoln's partner in the grocery business, and Edmund 
Greer was a school-teacher, and afterwards a justice of the peace and a surveyor ; James Rutledge was the 
keeper of the Rutledge tavern and the father of Ann Rutledge ; Hugh Armstrong was one of the numerous 
Armstrong family; " Uncle Jimmy " White lived on a farm five miles from New Salem, and died about 
thirty years ago, in the eightieth year of his age ; William Green was father of William G. Greene, Lincoln's 
associate in Offutt's store ; and as to Bowling Green, more is said elsewhere. In the following three or four 
years, very few elections were held in New Salem at which Lincoln was not a clerk. It is a somewhat 
singular fact that Lincoln, though clerk of this election, is not recorded as voting. 



; Will Sfc'll 



,.i-C iQh -^-"TL_„" , S7*iA. Sangafriotown,Ne«v 

: rr-^ ^ S.iiem. Petersburg!?. 
^p'Lrl'iron.H ivania, Lewistown 
Canton^ Knoxville. Monmouth, to the Yellow 
1 Leave Springfield every Wednesday morning 
at 6 o'clock, arrive at Monmouth on Friday i 
evcnirgs at o'clock, and at the Yellow Banks | 
on the Mississippi, next dayat 12 M. Return 
the same days to Morfmouth, and arrive at 
Springfield on Tuesday .evenings at 6 o'clock - . 

P4n) through to the Yellow Banks, nine dol- 
lars; way passeugers sis and a fourth cents 
j ( per mile. I3uggage,at the risk of tlie owners. 
The proprietors have procured good carriages 
and horses, and careful drivers, and every at- 
tention will be paid to the comfort end oon- 
'venience of passengers-! 

fX/^The couutry through which this coach ] 
passes is well worthy the attention of emt- i 
grants. The patronage af .the public js soli- ; 
cied lor this new enterprise. '< 

V Afml 30-^4^ ; T \X A C Y UJ i E N Y . 


This advertisement appeared iu the " Sangamo Journal " 
in April, 1834, and held a place in the paper through the next 
three years. As the "Four Horse Coach " ran through San- 
garnontown and New Salem, it doubtless had Lincoln as a pas- 
senger now and then; but not often, probably, for the fare 
from New Salem to Springfield was one dollar and twenty-five 
cents, and walking, or riding upon a borrowed horse, must 
generally have been preferred by Lincoln to so costly a mode 
of travelling. 

Watkins, being then a young boy, 
country, was not a frequent visitor at 

crockery, a few pairs of 
shoes (not many), some 
farming implements, 
and the like. Whiskey, 
of course, was a neces- 
sary part of their stock. 
I remember one transac- 
tion in particular which 
I had with them. I 
sold the lirm a load of 
wheat, which they 
turned over t o the 
mill." Mr. Potter, who 
remembers the morning 
when Lincoln, then a 
stranger on his way to 
New Salem, stopped at 
his father's house and 
ate breakfast, knows 
less about the store, but 
says: "It was a grocery, 
and they sold whiskey, 
of course." Thomas 
Watkins says that the 
store contained k 'a 
little candy, tobacco, 
sugar, and coffee, and 
the like ; " though Mr. 

and living a mile in the 

the store. 



YEN after the license was granted, however, busi- 
ness was not so brisk in Berry and Lincoln's 
store that the junior partner did not welcome an 
appointment as postmaster which he received in 
May, 1833. The appointment of a Whig by a 
Democratic administration seems to have been 
made without comment. "The office was too 
insignificant to make his politics an objection," 
say the autobiographical notes. The duties of the 
new office were not arduous, for letters were few, and their comings 
far between. At that date the mails were carried by four-horse 
post-coaches from city to city, and on horseback from central 
points into the country towns. The rates of postage were high. 
A single-sheet letter carried thirty miles or under cost six cents ; 
thirty to eighty miles, ten cents ; eighty to one hundred and 
fifty miles, twelve and one-half cents ; one hundred and fifty to 
four hundred miles, eighteen and one-half cents ; over four hun- 
dred miles, twenty-five cents. A copy of this magazine sent 
from New York to New Salem would have cost fully twenty-five 
cents. The mail was irregular in coming as well as light in its 
contents. Though supposed to arrive twice a week, it sometimes 
happened that a fortnight or more passed without any mail. 
Under these conditions the New Salem post-office was not a 
serious care. 

A large number of the patrons of the office lived in the coun- 
try — many of them miles away — but generally Lincoln delivered 
the letters at their doors. These letters he would carefully 
place in the crown of his hat, and distribute them from house to 
house. Thus it was in a measure true that he kept the New 
Salem post-office in his hat. The habit of carrying papers in his 
hat clung to Lincoln ; for, many years later, when he was a 
practising lawyer in Springfield, he apologized for failing to 


From a recent photograph by C. S. McCullough, Petersburg, Illinois. The little frame store building 
occupied by Berry and Lincoln at New Salem is now standing at Petersburg, Illinois, in the rear of L. W. 
Bishop's gun-shop. Its history after 1834 is somewhat obscure, but there is no reason for doubting its 
identity. According to tradition it was bought by Robert Bishop, the father of the present owner, about 
1835, from Mr. Lincoln himself ; but it is difficult to reconcile this legend with the sale of the store to the 
Trent brothers, unless, upon the flight of the latter from the country and the closing of the store, the building, 
through the leniency of creditors, was allowed to revert to Mr. Lincoln, in which event he no doubt sold it at 
the first opportunity, and applied the proceeds to the payment of the debts of the firm. When Mr. Bishop 
bought the store budding, he removed it to Petersburg. It is said that the removal was made in part by Lincoln 
himself ; that the job was first undertaken by one of the Bales, but that, encountering some difficulty, he 
called upon Lincoln to assist him, which Lincoln did. The structure was first set up adjacent to Mr. Bishop's 
house, and converted into a gun-shop. Later it was removed to a place on the public square ; and soon 
after the breaking out of the late war, Mr. Bishop, erecting a new building, pushed Lincoln's store into the 
back yard, and there it still stands. Soon after the assassination of Mr. Lincoln, the front door was pre- 
sented to some one in Springfield, and has long since been lost sight of. It is remembered by Mr. Bishop 
that in this door there was an opening for the reception of letters — a circumstance of importance as tend- 
ing to establish the genuineness of the building, when it is remembered that Lincoln was postmaster while 
he kept the store. The structure, as it stands to-day, is about eighteen feet long, twelve feet in width, and 
ten feet in height. The back room, however, has disappeared, so that the building as it stood when occupied 
by Berry and Lincoln was somewhat longer. Of the original building there only remain the frame-work, 
the black walnut weather-boarding on the front end, and the ceiling of sycamore boards. One entire side 
has been torn away by relic-hunters. In recent years the building has been used as a sort of store-room. 
Just after a big fire in Petersburg some time ago, the city council condemned the Lincoln store building and 
ordered it demolished. Under this order a portion of one side was torn down, when Mr. Bishop persuaded 
the city authorities to desist, upon giving a guarantee that if Lincoln's store ever caught fire, he would be 
responsible for any loss which might ensue. 


From a photograph in the collection of H. W. Fay of De Kalb, Illinois, taken probably in 
Springfield early in 1861. It is supposed to have been the first, or at least one of the first, por- 
traits made of Mr. Lincoln after he began to wear a beard. Au is well known, his face was 
smooth until about the end of 1860 ; and when he first allowed his beard to grow, it became a 
topic of newspaper comment, and even of caricature. A pretty story relating to Lincoln's adop- 
tion of a beard is more or less familiar. A letter written to the authors of this Life, under date 
of December 6, 1895, by Mrs. Grace Bedell Billings, tells this story, of which she herself as a little 
girl was the heroine, in a most charming way : 

Delphos, Kansas, December 6, 1895. 

In reply to your letter of recent date inquiring about the incident of my childhood and con- 
nected with Mr. Lincoln, J would say that at the time of his first nomination to the Presidency I 
was a child of eleven years, living with my parents in Chautauqua County, New York. 

My father was an ardent Republican, and possessed of a profound admiration for the character of 



answer a letter promptly, by explaining: "When I received 
your letter I put it in my old hat, and buying- a new one the next 
day, the old one was set aside, and so the letter was lost sight 
of for a time." 

But whether the mail was delivered by the postmaster him- 

the grand man who was the choice of his party. We younger children accepted his opinions with unquestion- 
ing faith, and listened with great delight to the anecdotes of his life current at that time, and were particu- 
larly interested in reading of the difficulties he encountered in getting an education. So much did it appeal 
to our childish imaginations that we were firmly persuaded that if we could only study our lessons prone 
before the glow and cheer of an open fire in a great fireplace, we too might rise to heights which now we 
could never attain. My father brought to us, one day, a large poster, and my mind still holds a recollection 
of its crude, coarse work and glaring colors. About the edges were grouped in unadorned and exaggerated 
ugliness the pictures of our former Presidents, and in the midst of them were the faces of " Lincoln and 
Hamlin," surrounded by way of a frame with a rail fence. We are all familiar with the strong and rugged 
face of Mr. Lincoln; the deep lines about the mouth, and the eyes have much the same sorrowful expression 
in all the pictures I have seen of him. I think I must have felt a certain disappointment, for I said to my 
mother that he would look much nicer if he wore whiskers ; and straightway gave him the benefit of my opin- 
ion in a letter, describing the poster, and hinting, rather broadly, that his appearance might be improved if he 
would let his whiskers grow. Not wishing to wound his feelings, I added that the rail fence around his 
picture looked real pretty ! I also asked him if he had any little girl, and if so, and he was too busy to write 
and tell me what he thought about it, if he would not let her do so; and ended by assuring him I meant to 
try my best to induce two erring brothers of the Democratic faith to cast their votes for him. I think the 
circumstance would have speedily passed from my mind but for the fact that I confided to an elder sister 
that I had written to Mr. Lincoln, and had she not expressed a doubt as to whether I had addressed him 
properly. To prove that I had, and was not as ignorant as she thought me, I rewrote the address for her 
inspection: "Hon. Abraham Lincoln Esquired 

My mortification at the laughter and ridicule excited was somewhat relieved by my mother's remarking 
that " there would be no mistake as to whom the letter belonged." The reply to my poor little letter came 
in due time, and the following is a copy of the original, which is still in my \ 

" Private. 
" Springfield, Illinois, October 19, 1860. 
" Miss Grace Bedell. 

" My Bear little 3Iiss .-—Your very agreeable letter of the 15th inst. is received. I regret the necessity 
of saying I have no daughter. I have three sons ; one seventeen, one nine, and one seven years of age. 
They, with their mother, constitute my whole family. As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you 
not think people would call it a piece of silly affectation if I were to begin wearing them now ? Your very 
sincere well-wisher, 

" A. Lincoln." 

Probably the frankness of the child appealed to the humorous side of his nature, for the suggestion 
was acted upon. After the election, and on his journey from Springfield to Washington, he inquired of 
Hon. G. W. Patterson, who was one of the party who accompanied him on that memorable trip, and who 
was a resident of our town, if he knew of a family bearing the name of Bedell. Mr. Patterson replying in 
the affirmative, Mr. Lincoln said he had " received a letter from a little girl called Grace Bedell, advising 
me to wear whiskers, as she thought it would improve my looks." He said the character of the " letter was 
so unique, and so different from the many self-seeking and threatening ones he was daily receiving, that it 
came to him as a relief and a pleasure." When the train reached Westfield, Mr. Lincoln made a short 
speech from the platform of the car, and in conclusion said he had a correspondent there, relating the cir- 
cumstance and giving my name, and if she were present he would like to see her. I was present, but in 
the crowd had neither seen nor heard the speaker ; but a gentleman helped me forward, and Mr. Lincoln 
stepped down to the platform where I stood, shook my hand, kissed me, and said : " You see I let these 
whiskers grow for you, Grace." The crowd cheered, Mr. Lincoln reentered the car, and I ran quickly home, 
looking at and speaking to no one, with a much dilapidated bunch of roses in my hand, which I had hoped 
might be passed up to Mr. Lincoln with gome other flowers which were to be presented, but which in my 
confusion I had forgotten. Gentle and genial, simple and warm-hearted, how full of anxiety must have 
been his life in the days which followed ! These words seem to fitly describe him : " A man of sorrows and 
acquainted with grief." Very sincerely, 

Grace Bedell Billings. 


...... - — - 


d'iPhi^ fiUy 


y ll%4> £AstS-C~ -^fv> J A^,<2-^A***V 2 -*^7 -^feto' 


The only tavern in New Salem in 1833 was that kept by James Rutledge— a two-story log structure of 
five rooms, standing just across the street from Berry and Lincoln's store. Here Lincoln boarded. It 
seems entirely probable that he may have had an ambition to get into the tavern business, and that he and 
Berry obtained a license with that end in view, possibly hoping to make satisfactory terms for the pur- 
chase of the Rutledge hostelry. The tavern of sixty years ago, besides answering the purposes of the 
modern hotel, was the dramshop of the frontier. The business was one which, in Illinois, the law strictly 
regulated. Tavern-keepers were required to pay a license fee, and to give bonds to insure their good 
behavior. Minors were not to be harbored, nor did the law permit liquor to be sold to them ; and the sale 
to slaves of any liquors " or strong drink, mixed or unmixed, either within or without doors," was likewise 
forbidden. Nor could the poor Indian get any ' ' fire-water " at the tavern or the grocery. If a tavern-keeper 
violated the law, two-thirds of the fine assessed against him went to the poor people of the county. The 
Rutledge tavern was the only one at New Salem of which we have any authentic account, There were 
other landlords besides Mr. Rutledge ; but nothing can be more certain than that Lincoln was not one of 
them. The few surviving inhabitants of the vanished village, and of the country round about, have a clear 
recollection of Berry and Lincoln's store ; but not one has been found with the faintest remembrance of a 
tavern kept by Lincoln, or by Berry, or by both. Stage passengers jolting into New Salem sixty-two years 
ago must, if Lincoln was inn-keeper, have partaken of his hospitality by the score ; but if they did, they 
all died many, many years ago, or have all maintained an unaccountable and most perplexing silence. 

self, or the recipient came to the store to inquire, " Anything 
for me ? " it was the habit " to stop and visit awhile." He who 
received a letter read it and told the contents ; if he had a news- 
paper, usually the postmaster could tell him in advance what it 
contained, for one of the perquisites of the early postmaster was 
the privilege of reading all printed matter before delivering it. 
Every day, then, Lincoln's acquaintance in New Salem, through 
his position as postmaster, became more intimate. 



As the summer of 1833 went on, the condition of the store 
became more and more unsatisfactory. As the position of post- 
master brought in only a slfcall revenue, Lincoln was forced to 
take any odd work he could get. He helped in other stores in 
the town, split rails, and looked after the mill ; but all this 
yielded only a scant and uncertain support, and when in the fall 
he had an opportunity to learn surveying, he accepted it eagerly. 

The condition of affairs in Illinois in the thirties made a de- 
mand for the services of surveyors. The immigration had been 
phenomenal. There were thousands of farms to be surveyed and 
thousands of corners to be located. Speculators bought up 
large tracts, and mapped out cities on paper. It was years before 
the first railroad was built in Illinois, and, as all inland travelling- 
was on horseback or in the stage-coach, each year hundreds of 
miles of wagon road were opened through woods and swamps and 
prairies. As the county of Sangamon was large, and eagerly 
sought by immigrants, the county surveyor in 1833, one John 
Calhoun, needed deputies ; but in a country so new it was no 
easy matter to find men with the requisite capacity. 

With Lincoln, Calhoun had little, if any, personal acquaint- 
ance, for they lived twenty miles apart. Lincoln, however, had 
made himself known by his meteoric race for the legislature in 
1832, and Calhoun had heard of him as an honest, intelligent, and 
trustworthy young man. One day he sent word to Lincoln by 
Pollard Simmons, who lived in the New Salem neighborhood, 
that he had decided to appoint him a deputy surveyor if he would 
accept the position. 

Going into the woods, Simmons found Lincoln engaged in his 
old occupation of making rails. The two sat down together on a 
log, and Simmons told Lincoln what Calhoun had said. It was 
a surprise to Lincoln. Calhoun was a " Jackson man ; " he was 
for Clay. What did he know about surveying, and why should 
a Democratic official offer him a position of any kind \ He im- 
mediately went to Springfield, and had a talk with Calhoun. He 
would not accept the appointment, he said, unless he had the 
assurance that it involved no political obligation, and that he 
might continue to express his political opinions as freely and 
frequently as he chose. This assurance was given. The only 
difficulty then in the way was the fact that he knew absolutely 


nothing of surveying. But Calhoun, of course, understood this, 
and agreed that he should have time to learn. 

With the promptness of action with which he always under- 
took anything he had to do, he procured Flint and Gibson's 
treatise on surveying, and sought Mentor Graham for help. At 
a sacrifice of some time, the schoolmaster aided him to a partial 
mastery of the intricate subject. Lincoln worked literally day 
and night, sitting up night after night until the crowing of the 
cock warned him of the approaching dawn. So hard did he 
study that his friends were greatly concerned at his haggard 
face. But in six weeks he had mastered all the books within 
reach relating to the subject — a task which, under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, would hardly have been achieved in as many months. 
Reporting to Calhoun for duty (greatly to the amazement of that 
gentleman), he was at once assigned to the territory in the north- 
west part of the county, and the first work he did of which there 
is any authentic record was in January, 1834. In that month he 
surveyed a piece of land for Russell Godby, dating the certifi- 
cate January 14, 1834, and signing it "J. Calhoun, S. S. C, by 
A. Lincoln." 

Lincoln was frequently employed in laying out public roads, 
being selected for that purpose by the County Commissioners' 
Court. So far as can be learned from the official records, the 
first road he surveyed was "from Musick's Ferry, on Salt Creek, 
via New Salem, to the county line in the direction of Jackson- 
ville." For this he was allowed fifteen dollars for five days' 
service, and two dollars and fifty cents for a plat of the new 
road. The next road he surveyed, according to the records, was 
that leading from Athens to Sangamon town. This was reported 
to the County Commissioners' Court, November 4, 1834. But 
road surveying was only a small portion of his work. He was 
more frequently employed by private individuals. 


According to tradition, when he first took up the business he 
was too poor to buy a chain, and, instead, used a long, straight 
grapevine. Probably this is a myth, though surveyors who had 
experience in the early days say it may be true. The chains 
commonly used at that time were made of iron. Constant use 
wore away and weakened the links, and it was no unusual thing 





Vandalia was the State capital of Illinois for twenty years, and three different State-houses 
were built and occupied there. The first, a two-story frame structure, was burned down 
December 9, 1823. The second was a brick building, and was erected at a cost of twelve 
thousand, three hundred and eighty-one dollars and fifty cents, of which the citizens of Vandalia 
contributed three thousand dollars. The agitation for the removal of the capital to Spring- 
field began in 1833, and in the summer of 1836 the people of Vandalia, becoming alarmed at the 
prospect of their little city's losing its prestige as the seat of the State government, tore down 
the old capitol (much complaint being made about its condition), and put up a new one at a cost 
of sixteen thousand dollars. The tide was too great to be checked ; but after the " Long Nine " 
had secured the passage of the bill taking the capital to Springfield, the money which the Vanda- 
lia people had expended was refunded. The State-house shown in this picture was the third and 
last one. In it Lincoln served as a legislator. Ceasing to be a capitol July 4, 1839, it was con- 
verted into a court-house for Fayette County, and is still so used. 

for a chain to lengthen six inches after a year's use. "And 
a good grapevine," to use the words of a veteran surveyor, 
"would give quite as satisfactory results as one of those old- 
fashioned chains." 

Lincoln's surveys had the extraordinary merit of being cor- 
rect. Much of the government work had been rather indifferently 
done, or the government corners had been imperfectly preserved, 
and there were frequent disputes between adjacent landowners 
about boundary lines. Frequently Lincoln was called upon in 
such cases to find the corner in controversy. His verdict was 

— " John Cameron always kept a barrel of whiskey 
in the house." He was a powerful man physically, 
and a typical frontiersman. He was born in Ken- 
tucky in 1791, and, with his wife, moved to Illinois 
in 1815. He settled in Sangamon County in 1818, 
and in 1829 took up his abode in a cabin on a hill 
overlooking the Sangamon River, and, with James 
Rutledge, founded the town of New Salem. Ac- 
cording to tradition, Lincoln for a time lived with 
the Camerons. In the early thirties they moved 
to Fulton County, Illinois ; then, in 1841 or 1843, 
to Iowa ; and finally, in 1849, to California. In 
California they lived to a ripe old age — Mrs. Cam- 
eron dying in 1875, and her husband following her 
three years later. They had twelve children, eleven 
of whom were girls. Mr. Cameron is said to have 
officiated at the funeral of Ann Rutledge in 1835. 


From a recent photograph. Mr. Burner lived 
at New Salem from 1839 to 1834. Lincoln for many 
months lodged with his father, Isaac Burner. He 
now lives on a farm near Galesburg, Illinois. Mr. 
Burner is over eighty years of age. 


From a photograph in the possession of the 
Hon. W. J. Orendorff of Canton, Illinois. John 
M. Cameron, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, 
and a devout, sincere, and courageous man, was 
held in the highest esteem by his neighbors. Yet, 
according to Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lin- 
coln's clerk— and the fact is mentioned merely as 
illustrating a universal custom among the pioneers 


From a photograph taken at Jacksonville, Illi- 
nois, about thirty years ago. James Short lived on 
Sand Ridge, a few miles north of New Salem. 
When Lincoln's horse and surveying instruments 
were levied upon by a creditor and sold, Mr. Short 
bought them in, and made Lincoln a present of them. 
Lincoln, when President, made his old friend an 
Indian agent in California. Mr. Short died in Iowa 
many years ago. His acquaintance with Lincoln be- 
gan in rather an interesting way. His sister, who 
lived in New Salem, had made Lincoln a pair of 
jeans trousers. The material supplied by Lincoln 
was scant, and the trousers came out conspicuously 
short in the legs. One day when James Short was 
visiting with his sister, he pointed to a man walking 
down the street, and asked, " Who is that man in the 
short breeches ? " " That is Lincoln." And Mr. 
Short went out and introduced himself. 



Coleman Smoot was born in Virginia, Febru- 
ary 13, 1794 ; removed to Kentucky when a child ; 
married Rebecca Wright, March 17, 1817 ; came to 
Illinois in 1831, and lived on a farm across the San- 
gamon River from New Salem until his death, March 
21, 1876. Lincoln met him for 
the first time in Off utt's store in 
1831. "Smoot," said Lincoln, 
" I am disappointed in you ; I 
expected to see a man as ugly as 
old Probst," referring to a man 
reputed to be the homeliest in 
the county. " And I am disap- 
pointed," replied Smoot; "I 
had expected to see a good- 
looking man when I saw you." 
After Lincoln's election to the 
legislature in 1834, he called on 
Smoot and said : " I want to buy 
some clothes and fix up a little, 
and I want you to loan me two 
hundred dollars." The loan was 
cheerfully made, and, of course, 
was subsequently repaid. 


From an old daguerreotype. Samuel Hill was 
among the earliest inhabitants of New Salem. He 
opened a general store there in partnership with John 
McNeill — the John McNeill who became betrothed 
to Ann Rutledge, and whose real name was after- 
wards discovered to be John McNamar. When 
McNeill left New Salem and went East, Mr. Hill 
became sole proprietor of the store. He also owned 
the carding machine at New 
Salem. Lincoln, after going 
out of the grocery business, 
made his headquarters at Sam- 
uel Hill's store. There he kept 
the post-office, entertained the 
loungers, and on busy days 
helped Mr. Hill wait on custom- 
ers. Mr. Hill is said to have 
once courted Ann Rutledge 
himself, but he did not receive 
the encouragement which was 
bestowed upon his partner, 
McNeill. In 1835 he married 
Miss Parthenia W. Nance, 
who still lives at Petersburg. 
In 1839 he moved his store to 
Petersburg, and died there in 


From an old tintype. Mary Ann Rutledge was the wife of James Rutledge and the mother of Ann . 
She was born October 21, 1787, and reared in Kentucky. She lived to be ninety-one years of age, dying in 
Iowa, December 26, 1878. The Rutledges left New Salem in 1833 or 1834, moving to a farm a few miles 
northward. On this farm Ann Rutledge died, August 25, 1835 ; and here also, three months later (Decem- 
ber 3, 1835), died her father, broken-hearted, no doubt, by the bereavement. In the following year the 
family moved to Fulton County, Illinois, and some three years later to Birmingham, Iowa. Of James 
Rutledge there is no portrait in existence. He was born in South Carolina, May 11, 1781. He and his 
sons, John and David, served in the Black Hawk War. 




invariably the end of the dispute, so general was the confidence 
in his honesty and skill. Some of these old corners located by 
him are still in existence. The people of Petersburg proudly 
remember that they live in a town which was laid out by Lin- 
coln. This he did in 1836, and it was the work of several weeks. 

Lincoln' s pay as a surveyor was three dollars a day, more 
than he had ever before earned. Compared with the compensa- 
tion for like services nowadays, it seems small enough ; but at 
that time it was really princely. The governor of the State re- 
ceived a salary of only one thousand dollars a year, the Secre- 
tary of State six hundred dollars, and good board and lodging 
could be obtained for one dollar a week. But even three dol- 
lars a day did not enable him to meet all his financial obligations. 
The heavy debts of the store hung over him. He was obliged to 
help his father's family in Coles County. The long distances 
he had to travel in his new employment had made it necessary 
to buy a horse, and for it he had gone into debt. 

"My father," says Thomas Watkins of Petersburg, "sold 
Lincoln the horse, and my recollection is that Lincoln agreed to 
pay him fifty dollars for it. Lincoln was a little slow in mak- 
ing the payments, and after he had paid all but ten dollars, my 
father, who was a high-strung man, became impatient, and sued 
him for the balance. Lincoln, of course, did not deny the debt, 
and raised the money and paid it. I do not often tell this," Mr. 
Watkins adds, "because I have always thought there never was 
such a man as Lincoln, and I have always been sorry father sued 


From Libby Prison Museum, Chicago, Illinois. By permission of C. F. Gunther. 


<oxljL^X~~ (farr £j£a~ \J& 

wfijC £ 

*- v- &Jr 

<X -*Ju*jUL- 




Reproduced by permission from " Menard-Salem-Liucoln Souvenir Album," Petersburg, 1893. 



Between his duties as deputy surveyor and postmaster, Lin- 
coin had little leisure for the store, and its management passed 
into the hands of Berry. The stock of groceries was on the 
wane. The numerous obligations of the firm were maturing, 
with no money to meet them. Both members of the firm, in the 
face of such obstacles, lost courage ; and when, early in 1834, 


Alexander and William Trent asked if the store was for sale, an 
affirmative answer was eagerly given. A price was agreed upon, 
and the sale was made. Now, neither Alexander Trent nor his 
brother had any money ; but as Berry and Lincoln had bought 
without money, it seemed only fair that they should be willing 
to sell on the same terms. Accordingly the notes of the Trent 
brothers were accepted for the purchase price, and the store was 
turned over to the new owners. But about the time their notes 
fell due the Trent brothers disappeared. The few groceries in 
the store were seized by creditors, and the doors were closed, 
never to be opened again. 

Misfortunes now crowded upon Lincoln. His late partner, 
Berry, soon reached the end of his wild career, and one morn- 
ing a farmer from the Rock Creek neighborhood drove into New 
Salem with the news that he was dead. 

The appalling debt wliich had accumulated was thrown upon 
Lincoln's shoulders. It was then too common a fashion among 
men who became deluged in debt to " clear out," in the expres- 
sive language of the pioneer, as the Trents had done ; but this 
was not Lincoln's way. He quietly settled down among the men 
he owed, and promised to pay them. For fifteen years he car- 
ried this burden — a load which he cheerfully and manfully bore, 
but one so heavy that he habitually spoke of it as the " national 
debt." Talking once of it to a friend, Lincoln said : "That debt 
was the greatest obstacle I have ever met in life. I had no way 
of speculating, and could not earn money except by labor ; and 
to earn by labor eleven hundred dollars, besides my living, 
seemed the work of a lifetime. There was, however, but one 
way. I went to the creditors, and told them that if they would 
let me alone, I would give them all I could earn over my living, 
as fast as I could earn it." As late as 1848, so we are informed 
by Mr. Herndon, Mr. Lincoln, then a member of Congress, sent 
home money, saved from his salary, to be applied on these obliga- 
tions. All the notes, with interest at the high rates then prevail- 
ing, were at last paid. 

With a single exception, Lincoln's creditors seem to have 
been lenient. One of the notes given by him came into the 
hands of a Mr. Van Bergen, who, when it fell due, brought suit. 
The amount of the judgment was more than Lincoln could pay, 
and his personal effects were levied upon. These consisted of his 
horse, saddle and bridle, and surveying instruments. James 




f , 


ui.4!^ ^^V^fj 

j^o £ ^^5 ^ 

£*A_/*$<V ^ 



2E*JiT#5 /h-f^-f- 


V*? - / 


/M Y 

■ ■ ' 



From the collection of Mr. C. F. Gunther of Chicago 




From a steel engraving in the possession of R. W. Diller, 
Springfield, Illinois. John Calhoun was born in Boston, 
Massachusetts, October 14, 1806. In 1830 he removed to 
Springfield, Illinois, and after serving in the Black Hawk 
War was appointed surveyor of Sangamon County. He was 
a Democratic Representative in 18:38 ; Democratic presidential 
elector in 1844 ; candidate for Governor before the Democratic 
State Convention in 1846 ; Mayor of Springfield in 1849, 1850, 
and 1851. In 1854, President Pierce appointed him Surveyor- 
General of Kansas, and he became conspicuous in Kansas 
politics. He was president of the Lecompton Convention. 
He died at St. Joseph, Missouri, October 25, 1859. Mr. Fred- 
erick Hawn, who was his boyhood friend, and afterward 
married a sister of Calhoun's wife, is now living at Leaven- 
worth, Kansas, at the age of eighty-five years. In an inter- 
esting letter to the writer he says : " It has been related that 
Calhoun induced Lincoln to study surveying in order to be- 
come his deputy. Presuming that he was ready to graduate 
and receive his commission, he called on Calhoun, then liv- 
ing with his father-in-law, Seth R. Cutter, on Upper Lick 
Creek. After the interview was concluded, Mr. Lincoln, 
about to depart, remarked : 'Calhoun, I am entirely unable 
to repay you for your generosity at present. All that I have 
you see on me, except a quarter of a dollar in my pocket.' 
This is a family tradition. However, my wife, then a miss of 
sixteen, says, while I am writing this sketch, that she dis- 
tinctly remembers this interview. After Lincoln was gone 
she says she and her sister, Mrs. Calhoun, commenced mak- 
ing jocular remarks about his uncanny appearance, in the 
presence of Calhoun, to which in substance he made this 
rejoinder: ' For all that, he is no common man.' My wife 
believes these were the exact words." 

Short, a well-to-do farmer 
living on Sand Ridge, a 
few miles north of New 
Salem, heard of the 
trouble which had be- 
fallen his young friend. 
Without advising Lincoln 
of his plans, he attended 
the sale, bought in the 
horse and surveying in- 
struments for one hun- 
dred and twenty dollars, 
and turned them over to 
their former owner. By 
this kind act of "Uncle 
Jimmy," the young sur- 
veyor was enabled to con- 
tinue his business. 

Lincoln never forgot 
a benefactor. He not only 
repaid the money with 
interest, but nearly thirty 
years later remembered 
the kindness in a most 
substantial way. After 
Lincoln left New Salem, 
financial reverses came to 
James Short, and he re- 
moved to the far West 
to seek his fortune anew. 
Early in Lincoln's presi- 
dential term he heard that 
"Uncle Jimmy" was 
living in California. One 
day Mr. Short received a 
letter from Washington. 
Tearing it open, he read 
the gratifying announce- 
ment that he had been 
commissioned an Indian 


R "'". I 


Photographed for this work. After Lincoln gave up surveying, he sold hie instruments to John B. 
Gum, afterward county surveyor of Menard County. Mr. Gum kept them until a few years ago, when 
he presented the instruments to the Lincoln Monument Association, and they are now on exhibition at the 
monument in Springfield, Illinois. 


The kindness of Mr. Short was not exceptional in Lincoln's 
New Salem career. When the store had "winked out," as he 
put it, and the post-office had been left without headquarters, 
one of his neighbors, Samuel Hill, invited the homeless post- 
master into his store. There was hardly a man or woman in the 
community who would not have been glad to do as much. It 
was a simple recognition of Lincoln's friendliness to them. He 
was what they called "obliging" — a man who instinctively did 
the thing which he saw would help another, no matter how 
trivial or homely it was. In the home of Rowan Herndon, 
where he had boarded when he first came to the town, he had 
made himself loved by his care of the children. "He nearly 
always had one of them around with him," says Mr. Herndon. 
In the Rutledge tavern, where he afterwards lived, the land- 
lord told with appreciation how, when his house was full, Lin- 
coln gave up his bed, went to the store, and slept on the counter, 
his pillow a web of calico. If a traveller "stuck in the mud" 
in New Salem's one street, Lincoln was always the first to help 
pull out the wheel. The widows praised him because he ' ' chopped 
their wood ; " the overworked, because he was always ready to 
give them a lift. It was the spontaneous, unobtrusive helpful- 
ness of the man's nature which endeared him to everybody, and 
which inspired a general desire to do all possible in return. 


There are many tales told of homely service rendered him, even 
by the hard- working farmers' wives around New Salem. There 
was not one of them who did not gladly " put on a plate " for 
Abe Lincoln when he appeared, or did not darn or mend for 
him when she knew he needed it. Hannah Armstrong, the wife of 
the hero of Clary's Grove, made him one of her family. " Abe 
would come out to our house," she said, " drink milk, eat mush, 
cornbread and butter, bring the children candy, and rock the 
cradle while I got him something to eat. . . . Has stayed at 
our house two or three weeks at a time." Lincoln's pay for his 
first piece of surveying came in the shape of two buckskins, and 
it was Hannah who "foxed" them on his trousers. 

His relations were equally friendly in the better homes of the 
community ; even at the minister, the Rev. John Cameron's, he 
was perfectly at home, and Mrs. Cameron was by him affection- 
ately called " Aunt Polly." It was not only his kindly service 
which made Lincoln loved ; it was his sympathetic comprehen- 
sion of the duties and joys and sorrows and interests of the people. 
Whether it was Jack Armstrong and his wrestling, Hannah and 
her babies, Kelso and his fishing and poetry, the schoolmaster 
and his books — with one and all he was at home. He possessed 
in an extraordinary degree the power of entering into the interests 
of others, a power found only in reflective, unselfish natures en- 
dowed with a humorous sense of human foibles, and with great 
tenderness of heart. Men and women amused Lincoln, but so 
long as they were sincere he loved them and sympathized with 
them. He was human in the best sense of that fine word. 

Lincoln's acquaintance in sangamon county is 

Now that the store was closed and his surveying increased, 
Lincoln had an excellent opportunity to extend his acquaintance, 
for he was travelling about the country. Everywhere he won 
friends. The surveyor, naturally, was respected for his calling's 
sake ; but the new deputy surveyor was admired for his friendly 
ways, his willingness to lend a hand indoors as well as out, his 
learning, his ambition, his independence. Throughout the 
county he began to be regarded as "a right smart young man." 
Some of his associates appear even to have comprehended his 
peculiarly great character, and dimly to have foreseen a splendid 


From a copy (made by E. A. Bromley of the Minneapolis "Journal " staff) of a photo- 
graph owned by Mrs. Cyras Aldrich, whose husband, now dead, was a Congressman from 
Minnesota. We owe the photograph to the courtesy of Mr. Daniel Fish of Minneapolis. In 
the summer of 1860 Mr. M. C. Tuttle, a photographer of St. Paul, wrote to Mr. Lincoln, 
requesting that he have a negative taken and sent to him for local use in the campaign. 
The request was granted, but the negative was broken in transit. On learning of the 
accident, Mr. Lincoln sat again, and with the second negative he sent a jocular note wherein 
he referred to the fact, disclosed by the picture, that in the interval he had "got a new 
coat." A few copies of the picture were made by Mr. Tuttle, and distributed among the 
Republican editors of the State. It has never before been reproduced. Mrs. Aldrich's 
copy was presented to her by William H. Seward when he was entertained at the Aldrich 
homestead (now the Minneapolis City Hospital) in September, I860. A fine copy of this 
same photograph is owned by Mr. Ward Monroe of Jersey City, New Jersey. 



future. " Often," says Daniel Green Burner, Berry and Lin- 
coln's clerk in the grocery, ik I have heard my brother-in-law, Dr. 
Duncan, say he would not be surprised if some day Abe Lincoln 
got to be Governor of Illinois. Lincoln, 1 ' Mr. Burner adds, "was 
thought to know a little more than anybody else among the 
young people. He was a good debater, and liked it. He read 
much, and seemed never to forget anything." 

Lincoln was fully conscious of his popularity, and it seemed 
to him in 1834 that he could safely venture to try again for the 
legislature. Accordingly he announced himself as a candidate, 
spending much of the summer of 1834 in electioneering. It was 
a repetition of what he had done in 1832, though on the larger 
scale made possible by wider acquaintance. In company with 
the other candidates, he rode up and down the county, making 
speeches at the public sales, in shady groves, now and then in 
a log schoolhouse. In his speeches he soon distinguished him- 
self by the amazing candor with which he dealt with all ques- 
tions, and by his curious blending of audacity and humility. 
Wherever he saw a crowd of men he joined them, and he never 
failed to adapt himself to their point of view in asking for votes. 
If the degree of physical strength was their test for a candidate, 
he was ready to lift a weight, or wrestle with the countryside 
champion ; if the amount of grain a man could cradle would 
recommend him, he seized the cradle and showed the swath he 
could cut. The campaign was well conducted, for in August he 
was elected one of the four assemblymen from Sangamon. The 


These saddle-bags, now in the Lincoln Monument at Springfield, are said to 
have been used by Lincoln while he was a surveyor. 



vote at this election stood : Dawson, 1390 ; Lincoln, 1376 ; Car- 
penter, 1170 ; Stuart, 1164. 

With one exception, the biographers of Lincoln have given 
him the first place on the ticket in 1834. He really stood second 
in order. Herndon gives the correct vote, although he is in error 
in saying that the chief authority he quotes, a document owned 
by Dr. A. W. French of Springfield, Illinois, is an "official 
return." It is a statement, made out in Lincoln's writing, and 
certified to by the county clerk, of the total number of votes 
cast in the whole county for each of the several candidates for 
the legislature. The official returns are on file in the Springfield 


Reproduced, by permission, from " Menard-Salem-Lincoln Souvenir Album," Petersburg, Illinois, 1893. 



HE best 
thin g 
w h i c h 

did in the 
of 1834 
was not 
votes ; it was coming to 
a determination to read 
law, not for pleasure, but 
as a business. In his 
autobiographical notes 
he says: "During the 
canvass, in a private con- 
versation, Major John T. 
Stuart (one of his fellow- 
candidates) encouraged 
Abraham to study law. 
After the election he bor- 
rowed books of Stuart, 
took them home with 
him, and went at it in 
good earnest. He never 
studied with anybody." 
He seems to have thrown 
himself into the work 
with an almost impatient 
ardor. As he tramped 
back and forth from 
Springfield, twenty miles 
away, to get his law- 
books, he read sometimes 
forty pages or more on the 

Born at Brandon, Vermont, April 23, 1813 ; died in Chi- 
cago, June 3, 1861. Douglas learned a trade when a hoy, but 
abandoned it to study law. Obliged to support himself, he 
went to Illinois in 18*3, where be taught school until admitted 
to the bar. In 1835 he was elected State Attorney-General, but 
resigned at the end of the year, having been elected to the 
General Assembly. In 1837 he was appointed register of the 
land-office at Springfield ; in 1S38 was defeated in a contest 
for Congress ; in 1840 was appointed Secretary of State ; in 
1841 was elected judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois. From 
1843 to 1846 he was in Congress, and for fourteen years after 
was a United States Senator. The Lincoln and Douglas 
debates took place in his last senatorial canvass. In 1860 
Mr. Douglas was the Democratic candidate for President, 
and was defeated by Lincoln. He died in 1801. 


m fa*. 

(£jTZ<-K- I 

^OA~%CLn™-trv* tbZ^n^ ^^ t)£L> On 


I UOjuJ^- G£a~-*>L- Z&xXj /ty^L. JKc^^*^ (To*£>~j><j-> tM.*L s&^slAj g 

&tiL^ Jto* .&.JH&4 - 

- : i 


Photographed for this biography from the original, now on file in the County Clerk's office, 
Springiield, Illinois. The survey here reported was made in pursuance of an order of the County 
Commissioners' Court, September 1, 1834, in which Lincoln was designated as the surveyor. 

way. Often he was seen wandering at random across the fields, 
repeating alond the points in his last reading. The subject 
seemed never to be out of his mind. It was the great absorbing 
interest of his life. The rule he gave twenty years later to a 


^rL». c ru 

t<f feAe^.>>L. *3 </- OH. 

young man 
who wanted 
to know how 
to become a 
lawyer, was 
the one he 
practised : 

"Get books, 
and read and 
study them 
carefully. Be- 
g i n with 
B 1 a ckstone' s 
taries,' and 
after reading 
through, say 
twice, take up 
C h i tty ' s 
and Story's 
'Equity,' in 
Work, work, 
work, is the 
main thing." 

Having se- 
cured a book 
of legal forms, 
he was soon 
able to write 
deeds, con- 
tracts, and all 
sorts of legal 

&#Urn. / >- 


instruments; and 
he was frequently 
called upon by 
his neighbors to 
perform services 
of this kind. 
" In 1834," says 
Daniel Gree n 
Burner, Berry 
and Lincoln' s 
clerk, ''my 
father, Isaac 
Burner, sold out 
to Henry Onstott, 
and he wanted 
a deed written. 
I knew how 
handy Lincoln 
was that way, 


Photographed from the original for this biography. This map, which, as 
here reproduced, is about one-half the size of the original, accompanied Lin- 
coln's report of the survey of -a part of the road between Athens and San- 
gamon town. For making this map. Lincoln received fifty cents. He received 
three dollars for the day be spent in relocating the road. (See report,"page 198.) 
The road evidently was located "on good ground," and was "necessary and 
proper," as the report says, for it is still the main travelled highway leading 
into the country south of Athens. Menard County. 


and suggested that we get him. We found him sitting on a 
stump. 'All right,' said he, when informed what we wanted. 
' If you will bring me a pen and ink and a piece of paper I will write 
it here.' I brought him these articles, and, picking up a shingle 
and putting it on his knee for a desk, he wrote out the deed." 

As there was no practising lawyer nearer than Springfield, 
Lincoln was often employed to act the part of advocate before 
the village squire, at that time Bowling Green. He realized 
that this experience was valuable, and never, so far as known, 
demanded or accepted a fee for his services in these petty 

Justice was sometimes administered in a summary way in 
Squire Green's court. Precedents and the venerable rules of 
law had little weight. The "Squire'' took judicial notice of a 
great many facts, often going so far as to fill, simultaneously, 
the two functions of witness and court. But his decisions were 
generally just. 

James McGrady Rutledge tells a story in which several of 
Lincoln's old friends figure, and which illustrates the legal prac- 
tices of New Salem. " Jack Kelso," says Mr. Rutledge, " owned, 
or claimed to own, a white hog. It was also claimed by John 
Ferguson. The hog had often wandered around Bowling Green's 
place, and he was somewhat acquainted with it. Ferguson sued 
Kelso, and the case was tried before ' Squire ' Green. The plain- 
tiff produced two witnesses who testified positively that the 
hog belonged to him. Kelso had nothing to offer, save his own 
unsupported claim. 

" ' Are there any more witnesses 8 ' inquired the court. 

"He was informed that there were no more. 

"'Well,' said 'Squire' Green, 'the two witnesses we have 

heard have sworn to a lie. I know this shoat, and I know 

it belongs to Jack Kelso. I therefore decide this case in his 
favor.' " 

An extract from the record of the County Commissioners' 
Court illustrates the nature of the cases that came before the 
justice of the peace in Lincoln's day. It also shows the price 
put upon the privilege of working on Sunday, in 1832 : 

"January 29, 1832.— Alexander Gibson found guilty of Sabbath-breaking, 
and fined 12| cents. Fine paid into court. 

" (Signed) Edward Eobinson, J. P." 



The session of the ninth Assembly began December 1, 1834, 
and Lincoln went to the capital, then Vandalia, seven ty-five 
miles southeast of New Salem, on the Kaskaskia River, in time 
for the opening. Vandalia was a town which had been called 
into existence in 1820 especially to give the State government 
an abiding-place. Its very name had been chosen, it is said, 
because it wk sounded well" for a State capital. As the tradi- 
tion goes, while the commissioners were debating what they 
should call the town they were making, a wag suggested that 
it be named Vandalia, in honor of the Vandals, a tribe of In- 
dians which, said he, had once lived on the borders of the Kas- 
kaskia ; this, he argued, would conserve a local tradition while 
giving a euphonious title. The commissioners, pleased with 
so good a suggestion, adopted the name. When Lincoln tirst 
went to Vandalia it was a town of about eight hundred inhabi- 
tants ; its noteworthy features, according to Peck's " Gazetteer" 
of Illinois for 1834, being a brick court-house, a two-story brick 
edifice tk used by State officers," "a neat framed house of wor- 
ship for the Presbyterian Society, with a cupola and bell," "a 
framed meeting-house for the Methodist Society," three taverns, 
several stores, five lawyers, four physicians, a land- office, and 
two newspapers. It was a much larger town than Lincoln had 
ever lived in before, though he was familiar with Springfield, 
then twice as large as Vandalia, and he had seen the cities of 
the Mississippi. 

The Assembly which he entered was composed of eighty-one 
members — twenty-six senators and fifty-five representatives. As 
a rule, these men were of Kentucky, Tennessee, or Virginia 
origin, with here and there a Frenchman. There were but few 
Eastern men, for there was still a strong prejudice in the State 
against Yankees. The close bargains and superior airs of the 
emigrants * from New England contrasted so unpleasantly with 
the open-handed hospitality and the easy ways of the Southern- 
ers and French, that a pioneer's prospects were blasted at the 
start if he acted like a Yankee. A history of Illinois in 1837, 
published, evidently, to "boom" the State, cautioned the emi- 
grant that if he began his life in Illinois by "affecting superior 
intelligence and virtue, and catechizing the people for their 
habits of plainness and simplicity, and their apparent want of 

qJ<e £ ^ / t£^ t& ft~f<™7 *"'"- ~™~*> *&*r*~ 

4* <&Jk.Jz**,. &&%. 

<^f ^&s>t 



From the original, in the possession of Z. A. Enos, Springfield, Illinois. » The Sangamon River runs 
through this section," says Mr. Enos, himself a veteran surveyor, " and the section lines in the government sur- 
vey were not extended across, but closed on the river, without any connection being made between the opposite 
marginal corners or lines ; and though shown on the government plats as being continuous straight east or 
west 1 ines across the river, they were, in fact, surveyed by the government surveyor as represented by M r. Lin- 


those things which he 
imagines indispensable 
to comfort," he must 
expect to be forever 
marked as "a Yankee," 
and to have his pros- 
pects correspondingly- 
defeated. A "hard- 
shell" Baptist preacher 
of this date showed the 
feeling of the people 
when he said, in preach- 
ing of the richness of the 
grace of the Lord : kk It 
tuks in the isles of the 
sea and the nttermnst 
part of the y e t h . It 
embraces the Esqui- 
maux and the Hotten- 
tots, and some, my dear 
brethering, go so far as 
to suppose that it tuks 
in the poor benighted 
Yankees ; but / dorCt 
go that fur." When it 
came to an election of 
legislators, many of the 
people ''didn't go that 
fur" either. 

There was a pre- 
ponderance of jean suits 
like Lincoln's in the 
Assembly, a n d there 
were occasional coon- 
skin caps and buckskin 
trousers. Nevertheless, 
more than one member 
showed a studied garb 
and a courtly manner. 
Some of the best blood 
of the South went into 


coin's plat." This plat is also interesting as " showing," as Mr. 
Enos says, " how Illinois lands were valued at that date, as indi- 
cated by the value of the several lots in the school section, as de- 
termined by the trustees, and marked by them on each tract, and 
at those estimated values the lots were then subject to purchase." 


the making of Illinois, and it showed itself from the first in the 
Assembly. The surroundings of the legislators were quite as 
simple as the attire of the plainest of them. The court-house, 
in good old Colonial style, with square pillars and belfry, was 
finished with wooden desks and benches. The State furnished 
her law-makers few perquisites beyond their three dollars a day. 
A cork inkstand, a certain number of quills, and a limited 
amount of stationery were all the extras an Illinois legislator 
in 1834 got from his position. Scarcely more could be expected 
from a State whose revenues from December 1, 1834, to Decem- 
ber 1, 1836, were only about one hundred and twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars, with expenditures during the same period amount- 
ing to less than one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars. 

Lincoln thought little of these things, no doubt. To him the 
absorbing interest was the men he met. To get acquainted with 
them, measure them, compare himself with them, and discover 
wherein they were his superiors and what he could do to make 
good his deficiency — this was his chief occupation. The men he 
met were good subjects for such study. Among them were Will- 
iam L. D. Ewing, Jesse K. Dubois, Stephen T. Logan, Thomas 
Ford, and Governor Duncan — men destined to play large parts 
in the history of the State. One whom he met that winter in 
Vandalia was destined to play a great part in the history of the 
nation — the Democratic candidate for the office of State attorney 
for the first judicial district of Illinois — a man four years younger 
than Lincoln (he was only twenty-one at the time) ; a new-comer, 
too, in the State, having arrived about a year before, under no 
very promising auspices either, for he had only thirty-seven 
cents in his pockets, and no position in view ; but a man of 
metal, it was easy to see, for already he had risen so high in the 
district where he had settled, that he dared contest the office of 
State attorney with John J. Hardin, one of the most successful 
lawyers of the State. This young man was Stephen A. Douglas. 
He had come to Vandalia from Morgan County to conduct his 
campaign, and Lincoln met him first in the halls of the old court- 
house, where he and his friends carried on with success their 
contest against Hardin. 

The ninth Assembly gathered in a more hopeful and ambitious 
mood than any of its predecessors. Illinois was feeling well. 
The State was free from debt. The Black Hawk War had stim- 
ulated the people greatly, for it had brought a large amount of 


From a photograph loaned by Mr. Frank A. Brown of Minneapolis, Min- 
nesota. This beautiful photograph was taken, probably early in 1861, by 
Alexander Hesler of Chicago. It was used by Leonard W. Volk, the sculptor, 
in his studies of Lincoln. 


money into circulation. In fact, the greater portion of the eight 
to ten million dollars the war had cost, had been circulated among 
the Illinois volunteers. Immigration, too, was increasing at a 
bewildering rate. In 1835 the census showed a population of 
269,974. Between 1830 and 1835 two-fifths of this number had 
come in. In the northeast, Chicago had begun to rise. "Even 
for Western towns " its growth had been unusually rapid, declared 
Peck's " Gazetteer" of 1834 ; the harbor building there, the pro- 
posed Michigan and Illinois canal, the rise in town lots — all prom- 
ised to the State a great metropolis. To meet the rising tide of 
prosperity, the legislators of 1834 felt that they must devise some 
worthy scheme, so they chartered a new State bank, with a capi- 
tal of one million five hundred thousand dollars, and revived a 
bank which had broken twelve years before, granting it a charter 
of three hundred thousand dollars. There was no surplus money 
in the State to supply the capital ; there were no trained bankers 
to guide the concern ; there was no clear notion of how it was 
all to be done ; but a banking capital of one million eight hun- 
dred thousand dollars would be a good thing in the State, they 
were sure ; and if the East could be made to believe in Illinois 
as much as her legislators believed in her, the stocks would go ; 
and so the banks were chartered. 

But even more important to the State than banks was a high- 
way. For thirteen years plans of the Illinois and Michigan canal 
had been constantly before the Assembly. Surveys had been 
ordered, estimates reported, the advantages extolled, but noth- 
ing had been done. Now, however, the Assembly, flushed by 
the first thrill of the coming " boom," decided to authorize a loan 
of a half-million on the credit of the State. Lincoln favored both 
these measures. He did not, however, do anything especially 
noteworthy for either of the bills, nor was the record he made in 
other directions at all remarkable. He was placed on the com- 
mittee of public accounts and expenditures, and attended meet- 
ings with great fidelity. His first act as a member was to give 
notice that he would ask leave to introduce a bill limiting the 
jurisdiction of justices of the peace — a measure which he suc- 
ceeded in carrying through. He followed this by a motion to 
change the rules, so that it should not be in order to offer amend- 
ments to any bill after the third reading, which was not agreed 
to ; though the same rule, in effect, was adopted some years 
later, and is to this day in force in both branches of the Illinois 

fay. ■ CSa*. ^zz fjzt 

-rm&d~~ — ' m 

*.',.&*-rA*. .< ■, # , 

* Amm iiiwtfrii 

**> yVi <,'/»- ^ / CO.KJ 

The original of this plat is owned by Mr. J. Davidson Burns of Kalamazoo, Michigan, to whose courtesy we owe the 

right of reproduction. 



Assembly. He next made a motion to take from the table a 
report which had been submitted by his committee, which met a 
like fate. His first resolution, relating to a State revenue to be 
derived from the sales of the public lands, was denied a refer- 
ence, and laid upon the table. Neither as a speaker nor as an 
organizer did he make any especial impression on the body. 




N the spring of 1835 the young representative from 
Sangamon returned to New Salem to take up his 
duties as postmaster and deputy surveyor, and 
to resume his law studies. He exchanged his 
rather exalted position for the humbler one, with 
a light heart. New Salem held all that was dear- 
est in the world to him at that moment, and he 
went back to the poor little town with a hope, 
which he had once supposed honor forbade his 
acknowledging even to himself, glowing warmly in his heart. 

though he had known her since he first came to New Salem, was 
he free to tell his love. 

One of the most prominent families of the settlement in 1831, 
when Lincoln first aj^peared there, was that of James Rutledge. 
The head of the house was one of the founders of New Salem, 
and at that time the keeper of the village tavern. He was a 
high-minded man, of a warm and generous nature, and had the 
universal respect of the community. He was a South Carolinian 
by birth, but had lived many years in Kentucky before coming 
to Illinois. Rutledge came of a distinguished family : one of his 
ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence ; another was 
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by 
appointment of Washington, and another was a conspicuous 
leader in the American Congress. 

The third of the nine children in the Rutledge household was 
a daughter, Ann Mayes, born in Kentucky, January 7, 1813. 


From an ambrotype owned by Miss Hattie Gilmer of Pitt«field Illinois ti>p r;i m >, . 

m, in Pittsfield, October 1, 1858, during the I incoh, >n,l n, ' ambrot yP e was tak ™ by C. Jack- 

ie public square. Lincoln wa th e^es of 1 7 I^Vnfu^T' """f^** "~ LinC °' n had made a e ^ ch in 
Wished for Mr. Gi,mer. The other picture LtpS ^e ^ d^S * "* ** ^ **"* ~ ° f "*<* - 



When Lincoln first met her she was nineteen years old, and as 
fresh as a flower. Many of those who knew her at that time 
have left tributes to her beauty and gentleness, and even to-day 
there are those living who talk of her with moistened eyes and 
softened tones. "She was a beautiful girl," says her cousin, 
James McGrady Rutledge. "and as bright as she was pretty. 
She was well educated for that early day, a good conversation- 
alist, and always gentle and cheerful ; a girl whose company 
people liked." So fair a maid was not, of course, without 
suitors. The most determined of those who sought her hand was 
one John McNeill, a young man who had arrived in New Salem 
from New York soon after 
the founding of the town. 
Nothing was known of his 
antecedents, and no ques- 
tions were asked. He was 
understood to be merely one 
of the thousands who had 
come West in search of for- 
tune. That he was intelli- 
gent, industrious, and frugal, 
with a good head for busi- 
ness, was at once apparent ; 
for he and Samuel Hill 
opened a general store, and 
they soon doubled their 
capital, and their business 
continued to grow remark- 
ably. In four years from 

his first appearance in the settlement, besides having a half- 
interest in the store, McNeill owned a large farm a few miles 
north of New Salem. His neighbors believed him to be worth 
about twelve thousand dollars. 


Now owned by Mrs. Samuel Hill, Petersburg, Illinois. 


John McNeill was an unmarried man — at least so he represented 
himself to be — and very soon after becoming a resident of New 
Salem he formed the acquaintance of Ann Rutledge, then a girl 
of seventeen. It was a case of love at first sight, and the two 
soon became engaged, in spite of the rivalry of Samuel Hill, 



McNeill' s partner. But 
Ann was as yet only a 
young girl ; and it was 
thought very sensible in 
her, and very gracious and 
considerate in her lover, 
that both acquiesced in 
the wishes of Ann's par- 
ents that, for some time, 
at least, the marriage be 

Such was the situation 
when Lincoln appeared in 
New Salem. He naturally 
soon became acquainted 
with the girl. She was a 
pupil in Mentor Graham' s 
school, where he fre- 
q u e n 1 1 y visited, and 
rumor says that he first 
met her there. However 
that may be, it is certain 
that in the latter part of 
1832 he went to board at 
the Rutledge tavern, and 
there was thrown daily 
into her company. 

During the next year, 
1833, John McNeill, in 
spite of his fair prospects, 
became restless and dis- 
contented. He wanted to 
see his people, he said, and 
before the end of the year 
he had decided to go East 
for a visit. To secure per- 
fect freedom from his 
business while gone, he 
sold out his interest in the 
store. To Ann he said 
that he hoped to bring 


After a photograph owned by his widow, Mary Nash 
Stuart, Springfield, Illinois. John T. Stuart was born in 
Fayette County, Kentucky, seven miles east of Lexington, 
November 10, 1807. He was a son of Robert Stuart, a Pres- 
byterian minister, and professor of languages in Transyl- 
vania University. His mother's maiden name was Hannah 
Todd. She was a daughter of General Levi Todd, and a 
sister of Robert S. Todd, the father of Mrs. Abraham 
Lincoln. John T. Stuart graduated at Center College, Dan- 
ville, Kentucky, in 1826, and after studying law in Rich- 
mond, Kentucky, he went to Springfield, Illinois. This was 
in 1828. Here he at once began the practice of the law. In 
the Black Hawk War he was major of the battalion in which 
Lincoln commanded a company, and here his acquaintance 
with Lincoln seems to have been formed. In 1832 he was 
elected a representative in the State legislature, and was 
reelected in 1884. In 1836 he was an unsuccessful Whig 
candidate for Congress. Two years later he was again a 
candidate, and this time was elected, defeating Stephen A. 
Douglas. He was reelected in 1840. Lincoln, upon his re- 
moval to Springfield in the spring of 1837, became Major 
Stuart's law partner. The partnership continued until April 
14, 1841, when Lincoln became the partner of Judge Stephen 
T. Logan. For many years Major Stuart was the senior 
member of the law firm of Stuart, Edwards and Brown, the 
two other members being Benjamin S. Edwards and Chris- 
topher C. Brown. In 1837, at Jacksonville, Illinois, he was 
married to Mary V. Nash, who is still living. Major Stuart 
died in 1885. 


back his father and mother, and to place them on his farm. 
"This duty done," was his farewell word, "you and I will be 
married." In the spring of 1834 McNeill started East. The 
journey overland by foot and horse was in those days a trying 
one, and on the way McNeill fell ill with chills and fever. It 
was late in the summer before he reached his home and wrote 
back to Ann, explaining his silence. The long wait had been 
a severe strain on the girl, and Lincoln had watched her anxiety 
with softened heart. It was to him, the New Salem postmaster, 
that she came to inquire for letters. It was to him she entrusted 
those she sent. In a way the postmaster must have become the 
girl's confidant ; and his tender heart, which never could resist 
suffering, must have been deeply touched. After the long silence 
was broken, and McMell's first letter of explanation came, the 
cause of anxiety seemed removed ; but, strangely enough, other 
letters followed only at long intervals, and finally they ceased 
altogether. Then it was that the young girl told her friends a 
secret which McNiell had confided to her before leaving New 

He had told her what she had never even suspected before, 
that John McNeill was 
not his real name, but 
that it w a s John Mc- 
Namar. Shortly before 
he came to New Salem, 
he explained, his father 
had suffered a disastrous 
failure in business. He 
was the oldest son ; and 
in the hope of retrieving 
the lost fortune, he re- 
solved to go West, ex- 
pecting to return in a 
few years and share his 
riches with the rest of 
the family. Anticipat- 
ing parental opposition, 
he ran away from home ; 
and, being sure that he 
could never accumulate 


anything with so numer- eutledge's well." 


ous a family to support, he endeavored to lose himself by a 
change of name. All this Ann had believed and not repeated ; 
but now, worn out by waiting, she took her secret to her friends. 
With few exceptions, they pronounced the story a fabrication 
and McNamar an impostor. Why had he worn this mask % His 
excuse seemed flimsy. At best, they declared, he was a mere 
adventurer ; and was it not more probable that he was a fugitive 
from justice — a thief, a swindler, or a murderer? And who knew 
how many wives he might have \ With all New Salem declaring 
John McNamar false, Ann Rutledge could hardly be blamed for 
imagining that he either was dead or that he had ceased to love 

Ann's engagement to Lincoln. 

It was not until McNeill, or McNamar, had been gone many 
months, and gossip had become offensive, that Lincoln ventured 
to show his love for Ann, and then it was a long time before the 
girl would listen to his suit. Convinced at last, however, that 
her former lover had deserted her, she yielded to Lincoln's wishes, 
and promised, in the spring of 1835, soon after Lincoln's return 
from Vandalia, to become his wife. But Lincoln had nothing on 
which to support a family — indeed, he found it no trifling task 
to support himself. As for Ann, she was anxious to go to school 
another year. It was decided that in the autumn she should go 
with her brother to Jacksonville and spend the winter there in 
an academy. Lincoln was to devote himself to his law studies ; 
and the next spring, when she returned from school and he was 
a member of the bar, they were to be married. 

A happy spring and summer followed. New Salem took a 
cordial interest in the two lovers, and presaged a happy life for 
them ; and all would undoubtedly have gone well if the young 
gill could have dismissed the haunting memory of her old lover. 
The possibility that she had wronged him ; that he might reap- 
pear ; that he loved her still, though she now loved another ; that 
perhaps she had done wrong— a torturing conflict of memory, 
love, conscience, doubt, and morbidness lay like a shadow across 
her happiness, and wore upon her until she fell ill. Gradually 
her condition became hopeless ; and Lincoln, who had been shut 
from her, was sent for. The lovers passed an hour alone in an 
anguished parting, and soon after, on August 25, 1835, Ann 


After a photograph owned by Mrs. Harriet Chapman of Charleston, Illinois. Mrs. Chapman is a grand- 
daughter of Sarah Bush Lincoln, Lincoln's step-mother. Her son, Mr. R. N. Chapman of Charleston, 
Illinois, writes us : " In 1858 Lincoln and Douglas had a series of joint debates in this State, and this city 
was one place of meeting. Mr. Lincoln's step-mother was making her home with my father and mother at 
that time. Mr. Lincoln stopped at our house, and as he was going away my mother said to him : ' Uncle 
Abe, I want a picture of you.' He replied, ' Well, Harriet, when I get home I will have one taken for you 
and send it to you.' Soon after, mother received the photograph, which she still has, already framed, from 
Springfield, Illinois, with a letter from Mr. Lincoln, in which he said, ' This is not a very good-looking 
picture, but it's the best that could be produced from the poor subject. 1 He also said that he had it taken 
solely for my mother. The phoiograph is still in its original frame, and I am sure is the most perfect and 
best picture of Lincoln in existence. We suppose it must have been taken in Springfield, Illinois." 

II^JLcZA^ of ' P& &*C~< 

JUsHA-, JtUsCZJi^j //*W (i/Aa^C j£ K ~*' t ^-eA^p fi~J ^#WUJ <gUT ^vj 

,y?^ -^^ /Ct^Ci j£»**r 0* j[sf£c*«sh /t^jhlv tfrzZ^, fl~^£*> 
/pftZ0^~p£> /L^T^ <&g^cs£Z»-J ^V^ /&& ^r^W^-*^3" ay^a^JCZj /^cAJZ^J 

^yfc^^y^ A^^^yc, ^/u-^, ^-^e /^ (jrvv^^-c— e ^t^^^^ #^ eg- 


From the original, in the possession of Z. A. Enos, Springfield, Illinois. In a convention of surveyors, held at Spring- 
field in 1859, the question was much discussed whether the act of Congress of February 11, 1805. relating to surveys, was 
intended to control all future surveys and subdivisions of the government lands. It was decided to submit the question 
to a lawyer for an opinion. Mr. Lincoln was selected, for the reason not only that he was a lawyer of recognized ability, 
but also because he had been a practical surveyor. A committee having waited upon him, he wrote out the opinion of 
which a facsimile is here presented. Mr. Enos, who holds the original document, was an active participant in the con- 
vention to which this opinion was rendered. 



The death of Ann Rutledge 
plunged Lincoln into the deepest 
gloom. That abiding melan- 
choly, that painful sense of the 
incompleteness of life, which 
had been his mother' s dowry to 
him, asserted itself. It filled 
and darkened his mind and his 
imagination, tortured him with 
its black pictures. One stormy 
night he was sitting beside Will- 
iam Greene, his head bowed on 
his hand, while tears trickled 
through his fingers ; his friend 
begged him to control his sorrow, 
to try to forget. "I cannot," 
moaned Lincoln ; "the thought 
of the snow and rain on her grave 
fills me with indescribable grief." 

He was found walking alone 
by the river and through the 
woods, muttering strange things 
to himself. He seemed to his 
friends to be in the shadow of mad- 
ness. They kept a close watch 
over him ; and at last Bowling 
Green, one of the most devoted 
friends Lincoln then had, took 
him home to his little log cabin, 
half a mile north of New Salem, 
under the brow of a big bluff. 

Here, under the loving care of 
Green and his good wife Nancy, 
Lincoln remained until he was once more master of himself. 

But though he had regained self-control, his grief was deep and 
bitter. Ann Rutledge was buried in Concord cemetery, a country 
burying-ground seven miles northwest of New Salem. To this 
lonely spot Lincoln frequently journeyed to weep over her grave. 
" My heart is buried there," he said to one of his friends. 

When McNamar returned (for McNamar' s story was true, and, 
two months after Ann Rutledge died, he drove into New Salem, 


James McGrady Rutledge, son of William 
Rutledge, is now past eighty-one years of age, 
having been born in Kentucky, September 29, 
1814. He is now a resident of Petersburg. He is 
active and remarkably free from the infirmities of 
age. When a boy, with a yoke of oxen, he hauled 
the logs for the construction of the mill and the 
dam, at New Salem and for some of the cabins of 
the village. " ' Rile ' Clary and I carried chain 
for Lincoln many a time," he says; "'Rile' 
going foremost and I following. We became ac- 
customed to it and Lincoln preferred us." Ann 
Rutledge and her cousin were nearly the same age, 
and being thoroughly congenial, she made a con- 
fidant of him. They were much in each other's 
company, and Ann often talked to him of Lin- 
coln. " Everybody was happy with Ann," 1 says 
Mr. Rutledge. " She was of a cheerful disposi- 
tion, seeming to enjoy life, and helping others 
enjoy it." 



with his widowed mother and his brothers and sisters in the 
"prairie schooner" beside him) and learned of Ann's death, he 
" saw Lincoln at the post-office," as he afterward said, and " he 
seemed desolate and sorely distressed. ' ' On himself, apparently, 
her death produced no deep impression. Within a year he mar- 
ried another woman ; and his conduct toward Ann Rutledge is 
to this day a mystery. 

Many years ago a sister of Ann Rutledge, Mrs. Jeane Berry, 
told what she knew of Ann's love affairs ; and her statement 
has been preserved in a diary kept by the Rev. R. D. Miller, now 
Superintendent of Schools of Menard County, with whom she 
had the conversation. She declared that Ann's " whole soul 
seemed wrapped up in Lincoln," and that they "would have 
been married in the fall or early winter" if Ann had lived. 
"After Ann died," said Mrs. Berry, "I remember that it was 
common talk about how sad Lincoln was ; and I remember my- 
self how sad he looked. They told me that every time he was 
in the neighborhood after she died, he would go alone to her 
grave and sit there in silence for hours.' ' 

In later life, when his sorrow had become a memory, he told 
a friend who questioned him : " I really and truly loved the girl 
and think often of her now." There was a pause, and then he 
added: " And I have loved the name of Rutledge to this day." 



HEN the death of Ann Rutledge came upon 
Lincoln, for a time threatening to destroy 
his ambition and blast his life, he was in 
a most encouraging position. Master of a 
profession in which he had an abundance 
of work and earned fair wages ; hopeful 
of being admitted in a few months to the 
bar ; a member of the State Assembly, with 
every reason to believe that, if he desired 
it, his constituency would return him — few men are as far 
advanced at twenty-six as was Abraham Lincoln. 



From a photograph by C. S. ISftCullough, Petersburg, Illinois. Concord cemetery lies 
seven miles northwest of the old town of New Salem, in a secluded place, surrounded by woods 
and pastures, away from the world. In this lonely spot Ann Rutledge was at first laid to rest. 
Thither Lincoln is said often to have gone alone, and "sat in silence for hours at a time ; " and 
it was to Ann Rutledge's grave here that he pointed and said: "There my heart lies buried." 
The old cemetery suffered the melancholy fate of New Salem. It became a neglected, deserted 
spot. The graves were lost in weeds, and a heavy growth of trees kept out the sun and filled 
the place with gloom. A dozen years ago this picture was taken. It was a blustery day in the 
autumn, and the weeds and trees were swaying before a furious gale. No other picture of the 
place, taken while Ann Rutledge was buried there, is known to be in existence. A picture of a cem- 
etery, with the name of Ann Rutledge on a high, flat tombstone, has been published in two or 
three books; but it is not genuine, the "stone" being nothing more than a board improvised 
for the occasion. The grave of Ann Rutledge was never honored with a stone until the body 
was taken up in 1890 and removed to Oakland cemetery, a mile southwest of Petersburg. 

Intellectually lie was far better equipped than he believed 
himself to be, better than he has ordinarily been credited with 
being. True, he had had no conventional college training, but he 
had by his own efforts attained the chief result of all preparatory 
study, the ability to take hold of a subject and assimilate it. 
The fact that in six weeks he had acquired enough of the science 
of surveying to enable him to serve as deputy surveyor shows 
how well trained his mind was. The power to grasp a large sub- 



ject quickly and fully is never 
an accident. The nights Lin- 
coln spent in Gentryville, lying 
on the floor in front of the fire, 
figuring on the fire-shovel ; the 
hours he passed in poring over 
the Statutes of Indiana ; the 
days he wrestled with Kirk- 
ham's Grammar, alone made 
the mastery of Flint and Gibson 
possible. His struggle with 
Flint and Gibson made easier 
the volumes he borrowed from 
Major Stuart's law library. 

Lincoln had a mental trait 
which explains his rapid 
growth in mastering subjects — 
seeing clearly was essential to 
him. He was unable to put a 
question aside until he under- 
stood it. It pursued him, irri- 
tated him, until solved. Even 
in his Gentryville days his com- 
rades* noted that he was con- 
stantly searching for reasons 
and that he " explained so 
clearly." This characteristic 
became stronger with years. He was unwilling to pronounce 
himself on any subject until he understood it, and he could not 
let it alone until he had reached a conclusion which satisfied 

This seeing clearly became a sj)lendid force in Lincoln ; because 
when he once had reached a conclusion he had the honesty of 
soul to suit his actions to it. No consideration could induce him 
to abandon the course his reason told him was logical. Not that 
he was obstinate, and having taken a position, would not change 
it if he saw on further study that he was wrong. In his first 
circular to the people of Sangamon County is this characteristic 
passage : ''Upon the subjects I have treated, I have spoken as I 
thought. I may be wrong in any or all of them ; but, holding it 
a sound maxim that it is better only sometimes to be right than 


Joseph Duncan, Governor of Illinois from 1834 
to 1838, was born in Kentucky in 1794. The son of 
an officer of the regular army, he at nineteen be- 
came a soldier in the war of 1812, and did gallant 
service. He removed to Illinois in 1818, and soon 
became prominent in the State, serving as a major- 
general of militia, a State Senator, and from 1826 
to 1834 as a member of Congress, resigning from 
Congress to take the office of Governor. He was at 
first a Democrat, but afterwards became a Whig. 
He was a man of the highest character and public 
spirit. He died in 1844. 



at all times to be wrong, 
so soon as I discover my 
opinions to be erroneous, 
I shall be ready to re- 
nounce them." 

Joined to these strong 
mental and moral quali- 
ties was that power of 
immediate action which 
so often explains why one 
man succeeds in life Avhile 
another of equal intelli- 
gence a n d uprightness 
fails. As soon as Lincoln 
saw a, thing to do he did 
it. He wants to know ; 
here is a book — it may be 
a biography, a volume of 
dry statutes, a collection 
of verse ; no matter, he 
reads and ponders it until 
he has absorbed all it has 
for him. He is eager to 


From a painting owned by his daughter, Mrs. N. W. 
Branson, Petersburg, Illinois. Dr. Regnier was one of the 
New Salem physicians. He lived in the place until most of 
its inhabitants had deserted it, and then removed to Peters- 
burg. He was for many years a leading citizen in the com- 
munity. He died in 1858. 

Mississippi flatboat ; he takes it without a moment's hesitation 
over the toil and exxDosure it demands. John Calhoun is willing 
to make him a deputy surveyor ; he knows nothing of the 
science ; in six weeks he has learned enough to begin his labors. 
Sangamon County must have representatives ; why not he ? And 
his circular goes out. Ambition alone will not explain this power 
of instantaneous action. It comes largely from that active imagi- 
nation which, when a new relation or position opens, seizes on all 
its possibilities and from them creates a situation so real that one 
enters with confidence upon what seems to che unimaginative the 
rashest undertaking. Lincoln saw the possibilities in things, and 
immediately appropriated them. 

But the position he filled in Sangamon County in 1835 was 
not all due to these qualities ; much was due to his personal 
charm. By all accounts he was big, awkward, ill-clad, shy ; yet 
his sterling honor, his unselfish nature, his heart of the true 
gentleman, inspired respect and confidence. Men might laugh 




From a photograph made for this work by C. S. McCullough, Petersburg, Illinois, in September, 1895. 
On the 15th of May, 1890, the remains of Ann Rutledge were removed from the long-neglected grave in the 
Concord graveyard to a new and picturesque burying-ground a mile southwest of Petersburg, called Oak- 
land cemetery. The old grave, though marked by no stone, was easily identified from the fact that Ann 
was buried by the side of her younger brother, David, who died in 1842, upon the threshold of what 
promised to be a brilliant career as a lawyer. The removal was made by Samuel Montgomery, a prominent 
business man of Petersburg. He was accompanied to the grave by James McGrady Rutledge and a few 
others, who located the grave beyond a doubt. In the new cemetery, the grave occupies a place somewhat 
apart from others. A young maple tree is growing beside it, and it is marked by an unpolished granite 
stone bearing the simple inscription, " Ann Rutledge." 

at his first appearance, but they were not long in recognizing the 
real superiority of his nature. 

Such was Abraham Lincoln at twenty-six, when the tragic 
death of Ann Rutledge made all that he had attained, all that 
he had planned, seem fruitless and empty. He was too sincere 
and just, too brave a man, to allow a great sorrow permanently 
to interfere with his activities. He rallied his forces and returned 
to his law, his surveying, his politics. He brought to his work a 
new power, that insight and patience which only a great sorrow 
can give. 



Prepared especially for this volume by the iron. L. E. Chittenden, Register of the 
Treasury under Lincoln, and author of " President Lincoln," etc. 

The Hon. Solomon Lincoln of Hingham, Massachusetts, in an article on 
the " Lincoln Families of Massachusetts," in the " New England Historical and 
Genealogical Register," 1865, Volume XIX., page 357, says : "We now come 
to the family of Samuel Lincoln, in which we find more names than in any 
other, which leads to the belief that it is in this direction that we must look for 
the ancestor of Abraham Lincoln. To this family belong the honored names 
of Levi Lincoln, Attorney-General of the United States, Lieutenant and act- 
ing Governor of Massachusetts after the death of Governor Sullivan; also his 
two distinguished sons, Levi, 1802, who, besides other offices, was by nine 
elections the popular Governor of Massachusetts; and Enoch Lincoln, Gov- 
ernor of Maine ; and many other able men. 

" In a correspondence with the late President, in 1848, when he was in 
Congress, he stated : ' My father's name is Thomas, my grandfather's was 
Abraham, the same as my own. He went from Rockingham County, Virginia, 
to Kentucky, about the year 1782, and two years afterwards was killed by the 
Indians. We have a vague tradition that my great-grandfather was a Quaker 
who went from Pennsylvania to Virginia. Further than this I have not 
heard anything. It may do no harm to say that Abraham and Mordecai are 
common names in our family.' 

"In a subsequent letter in 1848, he wrote : ' I have mentioned that my 
grandfather's name was Abraham; he had, as I think I have heard, four 
brothers, Isaac, Jacob, Thomas, and John. He had three sons, Mordecai, 
Josiah, and Thomas — the last my father. My uncle Mordecai had three sons, 
Abraham, James, and Mordecai. My uncle Josiah had several daughters and 
only one son, Thomas. This is all I know certainly on the subject of names. 
It is, however, my father's understanding that Abraham, Mordecai, and Thomas 
ai'e old family names of ours.' " 

Mr. Solomon Lincoln continues : "We have already mentioned among 
the sons of the first Samuel — Daniel, Mordecai, and Thomas ; and among his 
grandsons — Mordecai, Isaac, and Abraham. 

' ' It has been stated . . . that about the middle of the last century the 
great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln removed from Berks County, Pennsyl- 
vania, to Augusta County, Virginia. These facts, from ' Rupp's History of 


Berks County,' are furnished by William B. Trask, Esq., of the Genealogical 

From the "History of the Town of Bingham, Massachusetts, 1 ' four volumes, 
8vo, 1893, by a committee comprising Ex-Governor Long and two mem- 
bers of the Lincoln family. See Volume I., page 271. 

"The Lincolns fill the pages of local and Commonwealth history with the 
story of their services in the held, the town, the halls of legislation, and 
the council chamber, from the earliest day to the present time. During the 
French wars w r e have seen Benjamin Lincoln, as colonel of his regiment, the 
historical Third Suffolk, . . . taking an active part. Colonel Lincoln 
died in March, 1771, leaving, among others, the son Benjamin who so worthily 
filled the place he long occupied in public estimation and usefulness. The 
affection that is felt for the great President Abraham Lincoln, also a descendant 
from tlie Bingham family, has given a national fame to the name in later years." 

From " The Lineage of Abraham Lincoln traced from Samuel Lincoln." By 
Samuel Shaekford, Esq., of Chicago, a descendant of Samuel Lincoln. 
See New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1887, Volume 
XLL, page 153. 

" Samuel Lincoln came from Norfolk County, England— probably from 
the town of Hingham— in 1637, at the age of eighteen years, . . . first to 
Salem, as an apprentice to a weaver ; then to Hingham, where his brother 
Thomas . . . lived. ... He had ten children. . . . Through his 
first son, Samuel, came the Governors Levi Lincoln, father and son, and 
Enoch Lincoln, Governor of Maine. Mordecai, fourth son of Samuel, born 
at Hingham, June 17, 1767, was a blacksmith ; worked at his trade in Hull ; 
married Sarah, daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Whitman) Jones. From 
Hull the family removed to the neighboring town of Scituate, about 1704, 
where Mordecai established a furnace for smelting iron ore. The children of 
Mordecai and Sarah (Jones) Lincoln were five in number: Mordecai, born 
April 1, 1686 ; Abraham, born January 13, 1689 ; Isaac, born October 21, 1691 ; 
and Sarah, born July 29, 1691— all in Hingham. By a second wife he had 
Elizabeth and Jacob, born in Scituate. 

"The will of Mordecai, dated Scituate, March 3, 1727, is of an unusual 
character. Isaac and Jacob, the younger sons— Jacob a lad of sixteen years- 
were named executors ; and to them are bequeathed all the testator's lands in 
Hingham and Scituate, with the saw and grist mill, and all his interest in the 
iron works. To ' son Mordecai ' is left one hundred and ten pounds in money 
or bills of credit ; to ' son Abraham,' sixty pounds in money or bills, 'besides 
w T hat he has already had.' To the oldest sons of Mordecai and Abraham, each 
ten pounds when they come of age; and provision is made for sending 
three grandsons to college, if they wish a liberal education. 

" Shortly before this time the names of Mordecai and Abraham disappear 
from, and are not after 1727 found on, the records of Massachusetts. They were- 
active men of property ; and this fact, in connection with the will, which gave 
them only money, and all the immovable property to Isaac and Jacob, raises, 
an almost irresistible inference that Mordecai and Abraham no longer lived in, 


"We now turn to New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and find that, in the 
early part of the last century, the Moores, Hales, Rolfs, Pikes, and other 
families from eastern Massachusetts, came to Middlesex County, New Jersey, 
and founded a town which they named, in honor of their old pastor in New- 
bury, Massachusetts, Woodbridge. At a somewhat later date the names of 
Mordecai and Abraham Lincoln appear on the records of Monmouth, which 
adjoins Middlesex County. 

"Mordecai Lincoln had married Hannah (Bowne) Salter of Freehold, 
Monmouth County, New Jersey. Her uncle John Bowne's will, dated Septem- 
ber 14, 1714, gives to Hannah Lincoln a bequest of two hundred and fifty 
pounds. She was the daughter of Richard Salter, a leading lawyer, member 
of the assembly, and judge. Captain John Bowne was also a leading and 
influential citizen. The settlement of his estate involved several lawsuits 
shown by the court records. The first in 1716, by Obadiah Bowne, executor, 
against the other heirs, Mordecai Lincoln being a defendant. In this a non- 
suit was entered, and the second suit ended in the same way. The third, in 
1719, also included Mordecai Lincoln as a defendant, but the sheriff returns 
him non est, and in 1720 the suit as to Mordecai was withdrawn. 

"These facts are satisfactory proof that Mordecai Lincoln had, before 1720, 
left Monmouth County." 

As further proof of the identity of the New Jersey with the Hingham 
Mordecai, there is a letter shown to Mr. Shackford by John C. Beekman, Esq., 
of Monmouth, written by John Bowne, one of the heirs to his uncle Obadiah, 
in which he calls Mordecai "brother." 

A deed on file in the office of the Secretary of State in Trenton, New Jer- 
sey, dated February 29, 1720. from Richard Salter to Mordecai Lincoln, both 
of Freehold, conveys four hundred acres of land, situate on the Machaponix 
River and Grand Bank, Middlesex County. A like deed, of May 25, 1726, con- 
veys one hundred acres of land in the same locality, and describes Mordecai 
Lincoln, the grantee, as of Chester County, Pennsylvania. 

It appears from these records that Mordecai was in New Jersey in 1720. 
In 1876 there was- unearthed in the old burying-ground near Allentown, New 
Jersey, a tombstone, bearing this inscription : "To the memory of Deborah 
Lincoln, who died May 15, 1720, aged three years and four months." As no 
other Lincolns have been found in the vicinity, it is probable that she was 
the child of Mordecai and Hannah Lincoln. 

A deed on file in the Department of Internal Affairs of Pennsylvania, 
dated December 24, 1725, from Mordecai Lincoln of Coventry, County of 
Chester, Pennsylvania, conveys to William Branston, merchant, of Philadel- 
phia, one-third of one hundred and six acres of land, according to an agree- 
ment between Samuel Nutt and Mordecai Lincoln, with "the mynes, and 
minerals, forges, buildings, houses, and improvements." This is impoi'tant, 
for it shows that Mordecai first resided in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 
where he made iron, a trade learned at his father's establishment in Scituate. 

It is through Mordecai that the pedigree of President Lincoln is traced to 
Samuel Lincoln. But it is also essential that Abraham of Monmouth County, 
New Jersey, should be identified as one of the missing sons of Mordecai and 
Sarah (Jones) Lincoln of eastern Massachusetts. 


Abraham, like his father, was a blacksmith, as the next deed shows. By 
it, on the records of Monmouth County, New Jersey, February 20, 1727, 
Abraham Lincoln, " blacksmith," conveys to Thomas Williams two hundred 
and forty acres of land near Creswick, in said county, and two hundred acres 
conveyed to Abraham Lincoln by Abraham Van Horn. He was probably 
preparing to follow his brother Mordecai to Pennsylvania. 

The will of Abraham Lincoln is dated in Springfield, Chester County, 
Pennsylvania, April 15, 1745, and was entered for probate on the 29th of the 
same month. His estate, a plantation in Springfield and two houses in Phila- 
delphia, was divided among his children, viz. : Mordecai, Abraham, Isaac^ 
Jacob, John, Sarah, and Rebecca. Four of his sons bore the same Old Testa- 
ment names as the four sons of the first Mordecai of Scituate. 

Returning to Mordecai, we find in his will, proved June 7, 1736, that he is 
described as of Amity, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. By it he be- 
queaths to "my sons Mordecai and Thomas all my lands in Amity," etc. ; to 
his daughters Hannah and Mary a piece of land in Machaponix, New Jersey ; 
and to " my son John three hundred acres of land in the same town ;" and to 
his daughters Ann and Sarah one hundred acres, also lying in Machaponix, 
New Jersey. 

His oldest son, John, was by his first wife, Hannah Salter, and went with 
his father to Pennsylvania. A deed from John, on file in the Secretary of 
State's office in Trenton, New Jersey, describes him as the "son and heir of 
Mordecai Lincoln, of the town of Carnaervon, County of Lancaster," and the 
deed conveys to William Dye ' ' three hundred acres in Middlesex County, New 
Jersey, part of the property conveyed October 20, 1720, by Richard Salter to 
Mordecai Lincoln, and by him bequeathed to his said son John. " 

John Lincoln, in 1758, owned a farm in Union township, adjoining Exeter 
(Pennsylvania ?), which he sold, and went to Virginia, settling in that portion 
of Augusta County which was organized into Rockingham County in 1779. 
His will cannot now be found, part of the papers in the probate office at Har- 
risonburgh having been destroyed by fire. But there is ample proof that he 
had sons — John, Thomas, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — and daughters. 

The son Abraham married Mary Shepley in North Carolina, just over the 
Virginia boundary line, where their sons Mordecai, Josiah, and Thomas were 
born. In 1782, or about that time, the family removed to Kentucky, where 
their daughters Mary and Nancy were born. The son Thomas Lincoln mar- 
ried Nancy Hanks, September 23, 1806, near Springfield, Kentucky, and 
Abraham Lincoln, their son, was born on the twelfth day of February, 

Mr. Shackf ord continues : ' ' The Lincolns through which the President's 
genealogy is traced were for six generations, with a single exception, pioneers 
in the settlement of new countries. I. Samuel, an early settler at Hingham, 
Massachusetts. II. Mordecai, of Scituate, who lived and died near where he 
was born. III. Mordecai, settled in Pennsylvania, thirty years before Berks 
County was organized. IV. John, went to the wilds of Virginia. V. Abra- 
ham, went to Kentucky with Boone when it was infested by savages. VI. 
Thomas, with his son Abraham, pioneers to Indiana." 

Mr. Shackford has traced the pedigrees of other members of the Lincoln 


family, in which the persistence of Scripture names is very marked. We con- 
tent ourselves with the following', which bears directly on the connection of 
the Pennsylvania and Virginia families : 

"Abraham, the posthumous son of Mordecai and Mary Lincoln of Amity, 
born in 1736, married Ann Boone, a cousin of Daniel, the Kentucky pioneer. 
Their grandson, David J. Lincoln of Birdsboro 1 , Pennsylvania, informs me 
that his father James, who died in 1860, at the age of ninety-four, and his uncle 
Thomas, who died in 1864, told him that Daniel Boone often visited his friends 
in Pennsylvania, and always spent part of his time with his cousin Ann, and 
that his glowing accounts of the South and West induced John Lincoln to 
remove to Virginia. After his removal he was known as 'Virginia John,' to 
distinguish him from others of the same name." 

A fact which will probably impress the reader is that among the numerous 
Lincolns mentioned in the six generations from Samuel, the immigrant in 
1637, to Abraham, the President, two centuries later, there is not one that does 
not bear a scriptural name. A coincidence not less remarkable is the identity 
of names in the successive families. 

Among the children of the first Mordecai, 1686, were Mordecai, Abraham, 
Isaac, Sarah. 

Of the second Mordecai, 1727: Mordecai, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. 

Of Abraham, brother of second Mordecai, 1745: Mordecai, Abraham, 
Isaac, Sarah — identical with the children of the first Mordecai; also John, 
Jacob, and Rebecca. 

Of John of Virginia, or " Virginia John, " 1758: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 
Thomas, John. 

If there are any doubting Thomases who cannot see in this extraordi- 
nary identity of names any blood relationship, no evidence would convince 
them ; neither would they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. 

Aside from this identity of names, the foregoing facts, taken from original 
documents on file, and family papers, prove beyond any reasonable doubt that 
Samuel Lincoln of Hingham was the ancestor of Abraham Lincoln of Illinois 
by a line of descent through the first and second Mordecai, "Virginia John," 
Abraham, and Thomas Lincoln. In genealogical studies it is seldom, indeed, 
that a pedigree is so clearly established. 



The most important testimony we have in regard to the character of the 
parents of Abraham Lincoln, and of the conditions under which they lived, is 
that of Christopher Columbus Graham. Dr. Graham was born at Worthing- 
ton's Station, near Danville, Kentucky, in 1784. He lived in the State until his 
death at Louisville in 1885. This long period was to the very end one of use- 
ful activity. A physician by profession, Dr. Graham was, by his love of nature, 


botanist, geologist, naturalist; and his observations on the flora, fauna, and 
strata of Kentucky are quoted on both sides of the Atlantic by scientists. For 
many years Dr. Graham was the owner of the famous Harrodsburg Springs. 
About 1852 he sold this property to the War Department of the United States 
as a Retreat for Invalid Military Officers. After the sale of the Springs he 
spent most of this time in study and in arranging his fine cabinet of Kentucky 
geology and natural history, before selling it to the Louisville Library 

It was only by an accident that Dr. Graham's knowledge of the history 
of Thomas Lincoln was given to the public. Recluse and student, he heard 
little or nothing of the stories about the worthlessness of Thomas Lincoln and 
his wife which were circulated at the time of the election of Abraham Lincoln 
to the Presidency. To what he did hear he paid little or no attention. One 
day in the spring of 1882, however, he was visiting at the home of Capt. J. W. 
Wartmann, Clerk of the United States Court at Evansville, Indiana, and Mr. 
Wartmann overheard him say that he was present at the marriage of Thomas 
Lincoln. Realizing at once the historical importance of such a testimony, and 
thinking that it might lead to the discovery of documentary proofs of the 
marriage, Mr. Wartmann secured from Mr. Graham the following affidavit : 

"I, Christopher C. Graham, now of Louisville, Kentucky, aged ninety- 
eight years, on my oath say : That I was present at the marriage of Thomas 
Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, in Washington County, near the town of Spring- 
field, Kentucky ; that one Jesse Head, a Methodist preacher of Springfield, 
Kentucky, performed the ceremony. I knew the said Thomas Lincoln and 
Nancy Hanks well, and know the said Nancy Hanks to have been virtuous 
and respectable, and of good parentage. I do not remember the exact date of 
the marriage, but was present at the marriage aforesaid ; and I make this 
affidavit freely, and at the request of J. W. Wartmann, to whom, for the first 
time, I have this day incidentally stated the fact of my presence at the said 
wedding of President Lincoln's father and mother. I make this affidavit to 
vindicate the character of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, and to put to 
rest forever the legitimacy of Abraham Lincoln's birth. I was formerly pro- 
prietor of Harrodsburgh Springs ; I am a retired physician, and am now a 
resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I think Felix Grundy was also present at 
the marriage of said Thomas 'Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, the father and 
mother of Abraham Lincoln. The said Jesse Head, the officiating minister at 
the marriage aforesaid, afterward removed to Harrodsburgh, Kentucky, and 
edited a paper there, and died at that place. 

"Christopher Columbus Graham. 

"Subscribed and sworn to before me, this March 20, a.d. 1882. N. C. But- 
ler, Clerk United States Circuit Court, First District, Indiana. By J. W. 
Wartmann, Deputy Clerk." 

This affidavit attracted wide attention, and the "New York Christian 
Advocate," the leading organ of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in its issue 
of April 13, 1882, raised several pertinent questions : 

1. Was Christopher Columbus Graham, at ninety-eight years of age, in 
full possession of his faculties ? 

2. Why had he not given his precious information before to the public ? 

3. Was there a Methodist preacher named Jesse Head ? 

These questions called out a large number of answers. The Rev. William 
M. Grubbs, of the Southwest Indiana Conference, stationed at Castleton, 


Marion County, in answer to the editor's first point gave a brief history of Dr. 
Graham, and explained why he "should never have been heard of before as 
the possessor of this precious information " : 

1 ' The Doctor himself was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, almost 
a Chesterfield in manners, and a leader for years of the Whig party— a great 
friend of Henry Clay — and unless he has greatly degenerated, he is now, at 
ninety-eight years, a good specimen of ' the hue old Kentucky gentleman.' 
Additional to the fact that he has been quite deaf for many years, he is a great 
lover of nature in its varied forms. As an evidence of this, at the time I was 
their guest, in 1855, he had been absent six months in the mountains of 
Kentucky, pursuing his favorite studies in natural history, geology, etc. 
Thus, though on good terms with his family, his habits became those of the 
student and the recluse. The family told us pleasantly that such was his pas- 
sion for nature in its wildest forms that they did not know Avhen he would 
think of paying them a visit. The last time I saw him was in Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, arranging his large cabinet of natural history, geology, etc., for the 
Library Association of that city, to which he had sold the same for quite a large 
sum. "Since the death of his wife and the marriage of his daughters, I think 
he has had no settled home — something of a rover — with ample means and 
friends everywhere. It is not, therefore, surprising that his habits of indiffer- 
ence to passing events and themes kept him ignorant of the mooted point 
that he sets to rest by his late statement." 

The Eev. John R. Eads, pastor of the Danville, Kentucky, Methodist 
Episcopal Church, wrote of Dr. Graham : "I have never heard his veracity 
or his integrity questioned." Of Jesse Head he said : "He is remembered by 
some of the old people of this community." He added: 

' ' You seem surprised that the testimony of Dr. Graham to the ' precious 
information ' which he communicates should not have been procured earlier. 
I frankly confess that, while I am a native of central Kentucky, and have spent 
most of my life here, I never heard before, so far as I can now remember, a 
question raised as to the legal marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. 
Thinking this might be exceptional in my case, I have taken the pains to-day 
to ask others if they ever heard such a question raised, and they tell me they 
have not. I feel quite sure that there must be very few people in central Ken- 
tucky who ever heard of a doubt expressed concerning the legal marriage of 
Thomas Lincoln." 

Letters were received from the Eev. R. T. Stephenson of Shelby ville, Ken- 
tucky, and others, supplying information as to Avho the Eev. Jesse Head was 
and what were his relations to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The facts, 
however, are all given in condensed shape in the following : 

" Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, 
"Anderson County, May 3, 1882. 
"To the Eev. J. M. Buckley, D.D. 

"Dear Sir and Brother: — Your favor reached me on the eve of my leaving 
Harrodsburg for this place, hence the delay in responding to your request. 
The Rev. Jesse Head referred to was my grandfather. He was born in Mary- 
land, near Baltimore ; was married to Miss Jane Ramsey, of (what is now) 
Bedford County, Pennsylvania. He removed to Kentucky, and settled at 
Springfield, Washington County. He was an ordained minister of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, but was never connected with the itinerancy in Ken- 
tucky, on account of feeble health. He held several prominent civil offices 
while living in Springfield, and was actively engaged preaching - the gospel of 
God's grace. He celebrated the rites of matrimony between Thomas Lincoln 
and Miss Nancy Hanks, father and mother of President Lincoln, m 1806, near 


Springfield. He afterwards moved to Harrodsburg, Mercer County, where he 
lived until his death, which occurred in March, 1842. At Harrodsburg he 
engaged in merchandising, also owned and edited the county paper for a term 
of years. He was largely instrumental, if not wholly, in building the first 
church ever erected in Harrodsburg ; also organized and conducted the first 
prayer-meeting. In gospel labors he was always abundant. His house was 
the home for several years of Rev. H. B. Bascom, afterwards Bishop ; also of 
Bishop McKendree especially, as they were bosom friends. Some time before 
his death he left the Methodist Episcopal Church, and connected himself with 
the Radical Methodists, on account of slavery, and also some dissatisfaction 
with the Episcopacy. He then had charge of and preached for a church for 
years at Lexington, Kentucky. His name at Harrodsburg and through the 
surrounding country is as ointment poured forth. He was a man of decided and 
positive character, bold and aggressive, and died loved and honored by all. 
He died as he lived, in the triumph of the faith of the Gospel of God's Son. 
" Fraternally yours, 

"E. B. Head, P.E., 
" Lawrenceburg Circuit, Kentucky Conference." 

The "Christian Advocate," upon receipt of the first letter, requested the 
Rev. John R. Eads of Danville, Kentucky, to have the marriage record ex- 
amined, the following reply being returned : 

"Danville, Kentucky, April 25, 1882. 
"Dr. Buckley. 

" My Dear Brother: — Your postal card received. I have just received the 
accompanying paper, which, though somewhat singular in form in some of 
its parts, will be plain to you in its essential facts. You have received my 
other two letters, which in connection with this certificate will, I trust, set the 
whole matter to which they relate in a satisfactory light. 
" Fraternally, 

"John R. Eads." 
Here follows the certificate : 

" Clerk's Office, Washington County Court, 
"W. F. Booker, Clerk. 

"Springfield, Kentucky, April 24, 1882. 
"The Rev. John R. Eads. 

"Dear Sir: — Yours in regard to the marriage certificate of Thomas Lincoln 
to Nancy Hanks reached here during my absence in Louisville. I now send 
you a copy of the same : 

" I do hereby certify that the following is a true list of the marriage solem- 
nized by me between Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, September 23, 1806. 

" Jesse Head, D. N. E. C. 
"(Copy attest.) 
"W. F. Booker, 

' ' Clerk, Washington County Court. 

" Yours respectfully, W. F. B." 

The ' ' Christian Advocate, " in publishing the letters, said : 

' ' In summing up the whole the following points may be considered as for- 
ever settled : 

"1. There was such a man as Jesse Head, a local deacon in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, in 1806. 

"2. He married Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks on September 23, 1806, * 

* The date here given is wrong ; the marriage took place on June 12, 1806. The error arose in copying 
the record the first time, the date of the marriage following that of Thomas Lincoln being taken instead of 
the one before his name. 


of whom was born the venerated and never-to-be-forgotten Abraham Lin- 

"3. The fact of the marriage was duly certified by Jesse Head, in the 
clerk's office of Washington County, Kentucky, where it may now be seen. 

"4. The Rev. E. B. Head has" spoken of" this fact in the family history 
prior to the publication of this affidavit. 

" 5. Dr. Graham is a competent witness, and his testimony is confirmed in 
every point. 

"6. In view of these facts, that there should ever have been any doubts 
raised about the marriage of the parents of Mr. Lincoln, and that it should 
have been gravely discussed, and never explicitly settled in the various biogra- 
phies, is remarkable." 

Soon after the publication of the above facts a historian of Louisville, 
Kentucky, Dr. Henry Whitney Cleveland, realizing the importance of Dr. 
Graham's reminiscences, secured from him, in his hundredth year, an account 
of what he remembered of Thomas Lincoln. Mr. Cleveland took down word 
for word what Dr. Graham told him, and we print it in full below. We 
regard it as in many ways the most important unpublished document we 
have been able to discover in regard to Thomas Lincoln. As to the mental 
condition of Dr. Graham in 1884, we have the testimony of some of the 
leading citizens of Louisville. In the paper read before the Southern Historical 
Society in 1880, in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of 
Louisville, Dr. Durrett said of Mr. Graham : 

' ' Four years more will make him a centenarian, and yet he moves along 
the streets every day with the elastic step of manhood's prime, and the eagle 
eye which made him in youth the finest rifle-shot in the world is shorn but 
little of its unerring sight. He was a practising physician three-quarters of a 
century ago, and is the author of several learned books of a professional and 
philosophical character. His health is yet good, his faculties well preserved, 
and he seems to-day more like a man of sixty-nine than ninety-six. " 

In 1884, when Dr. Graham had become a centenarian, a banquet was given 
him at which all the leading citizens of Louisville Avere present. Without 
exception, every one of the persons with whom we have talked of Dr. Graham's 
condition at this time affirms that he was mentally vigorous and his memory 
trustworthy. In the face of such testimony the statements in the following 
document must be accepted : 


The original statement was written out, at Dr. Graham's dictation, by Dr. Henry 
Whitney Cleveland of Louisville, Kentucky, but was signed by Dr. Oraha?n's own hand. 

I, Christopher Columbus Graham, now in my hundredth year, and 
visiting the Southern Exposition in Louisville, where I live, tell this to please 
my young friend Henry Cleveland, who is nearly half my age. He was often 
at the Springs Hotel in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, then owned and kept by me 
for invalids and pleasure-seekers. I am one of the two living men who can 
prove that Abraham Lincoln, or Linkhorn, as the family was miscalled, was 
born in lawful wedlock, for I saw Thomas Lincoln marry Nancy Hanks on 


the twelfth clay of June, 1806. He was horn at what was then known as the 
Eock Spring - Farm — it is now called the Creal Place — three miles south of 
Hodgensville, in Larue County, Kentucky. 

Kentucky was first a county of Virginia after its settlement, and then was 
divided into three counties ; and these, again divided, are pretty much the pres- 
ent State. The first historian was Filson, who made and published the first 
map of the separate territory, with the names of streams and stations as given 
by Daniel Boone and Squire Boone, James Harrod, and others. I knew all of 
these, as well as President Lincoln's parents. 

I think they lived on the farm four years after he was born. Another boy 
was born in Hodgensville, or, I should say, buried there. The sister, Sally, 
was older than Abe, I think. I think the paper now owned by Henry Cleve- 
land is the " marriage lines " written by Eev. Jesse Head, a well-known Meth- 
odist preacher. I do not think the old Bible it was found in was that of 
Tom Lincoln. It would cost too much for him. All of the records in it were 
those of the father's family — the John M. Hewetts — of the wife of Dr. Theodore 
S. Bell. Dr. Bell was only about twenty years younger than I am, and prob- 
ably got the certificate in 1858 or 1860, when assertions were made that Tom 
Lincoln and Nancy Hanks were not married when Abe was born. 

He was reputed to have been born February 12, 1809, and I see no good 
reason to dispute it. Sally, I am sure, was the first child, and Nancy was a 
fresh and good-looking girl — I should say past twenty. Nancy lived with the 
Sparrow family a good bit. It was likely Tom had the family Bible from Vir- 
ginia, through his father, called Abraham Linkhorn. His brothers, however, 
were older — if they were brothers, and not uncles, as some say. I was hunt- 
ing roots for my medicines, and just went to the wedding to get a good supper, 
and got it. 

Bibles cost as much as the spinning-wheel, or loom, or rifle, and were im- 
ported in the main. A favorite with the Methodists was Fletcher's, or one he 
wrote a preface for. Preachers used it, and had no commentaries. A book 
dedicated to King James or any other king did not take well in Revolution- 
ary times. The Bibles I used to see had no printed records or blanks, but a 
lot of fine linen hand-made paper would be bound in front or back. On this, 
family history and land matters were written out fully like a book. Some 
had fifty pages. The court-houses even were made of logs, and the meeting- 
houses too, if they had any. No registers were kept as in English parish 
churches, and are not yet. Before a license could be had, a bond and security 
was taken of the bridegroom, and the preacber had to return to the court all 
marriages of the year. This was often a long list, and at times papers were 
lost or forgotten, but not often. The "marriage lines " given by the preacher 
to the parties were very important in case the records were burned up by acci- 
dent. Such is the paper that Henry Cleveland has shown to me. The ring 
was not often used, as so few had one to use. The Methodist Church discipline 
forbid "the putting on of gold or costly apparel," and I think a preacher with 
a gold watch — if not an inherited one — would have been dismissed. A 
preacher that married was "located," and that ended his itinerancy in the 
Methodist Church. The Presbyterians were educated and married ; Baptists 
not educated. 


Tom Lincoln was a carpenter, and a good one for those days, when a cabin 
was built mainly with the axe, and not a nail or bolt or hinge in it, only 
leathers and pins to the door, and no glass, except in watches and spectacles 
and bottles. Tom had the best set of tools in what was then and now Wash- 
ington County. Larue County, where the farm was settled, was then Hardin. 

Jesse Head, the good Methodist preacher that married them, was also a 
carpenter or cabinet-maker by trade, and as he was then a neighbor, they were 
good friends. He had a quarrel with the bishops, and was not an itinerant 
for several years, but an editor, and county judge afterwards, in Harrodsburg. 
Mr. Henry Cleveland has his commission from Governor Isaac Shelby. 

Many great men of the South and North were then opposed to slavery, 
mainly because the new negroes were as wild as the Indians, and might prove 
as dangerous. Few of the whites could read, and yet Pope and Dryden and 
Shakespeare were as well known as Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" and 
Baxter's " Saints' Eest." Some were educated in Virginia and North Carolina 
before they came, and these, when they became teachers, wrote out their 
school-books entirely by hand. 

Thomas Lincoln, like his son after him, had a notion that fortunes could 
be made by trips to New Orleans by flatboat. This was dangerous, from snags 
and whirlpools in the rivers, from Indians, and even worse — pirates of the 
French, Canadians, and half-breeds. Steam was unknown, and the flats had 
to be sold in New Orleans, as they could not be rowed back against the cur- 
rents. The neighbors joked Tom for building his boat too high and narrow, 
from an idea he had about speed, that has since been adopted by ocean steam- 
ships. But he lacked in ballast. He loaded her up with deer and bear hams 
and buffalo, which last was then not so plenty for meat or hides as when the 
Boone brothers came in. Besides, he had wax, for bees seemed to follow the 
white people, and he had wolf and coon and mink and beaver skins, gentian root 
(that folks then called " gensang" or " 'sang"), nuts, honey, peach-brandy and 
whiskey, and jeans woven by his wife and Sally Bush, that he married after 
Nancy died. Some said she died of heart trouble, from slanders about her and 
old Abe Enloe, called Inlow, while her Abe, named for the pioneer Abraham 
Linkhorn, was still little. But I am ahead of my story, for Nancy had just got 
married where I was telling it, and the flatboat and Sally Bush Lincoln come 
in before he goes over to what people called " Indiany." I will finish that, and 
then go back. 

He started down Knob Creek when it was flush with rains ; but the leaves 
held water like a sponge, and the ground was shaded with big trees and papaw 
and sassafras thickets and "cam," as Bible-read folks spelt the cane, and 
streams didn't dry up in summer like they do now. When he got to the Ohio 
it was flush, too, and full of whirlpools and snags. He had his tool-chest along, 
intending to stop and work in Indiana and take down another boat. But he 
never got to the Mississippi with that, for it upset, and he only saved his chest 
and part of his load because he was near to the Indiana shore. He stored what 
he saved under bark, and came home a-foot, and in debt to neighbors who had 
helped him. But people never pressed a man that lost by Indians or water. 

Now I go back for a spell. Thomas and Nancy both could read and write, 
and little Abe went to school about a year. He was eight years old at the time 


of the accident to Tom Lincoln's down-the-river venture. Thomas and Nancy- 
were good common people, not above nor below their neighbors, and I did not 
take much notice of them, because there was no likelihood that their wedding 
would mean more than other people's did. 

The preacher Jesse Head often talked to me on religion and politics, for 
I always liked the Methodists. I have thought it might have been as much 
from his free-spoken opinions as from Henry Clay's American- African coloni- 
zation scheme in 1817, that I lost a likely negro man, who was leader of my 
musicians. It is said that Tom Corwin met him in Ohio on his way to Can- 
ada, and asked if I was along. The boy said no, he was going for his freedom. 
Governor Corwin said he was a fool ; he had never been whipped or abused, 
but dressed like a white man, with the best to eat, and that hundreds of white 
people would be glad of such a good place, with no care, but cared for. 

The boy drew himself up and said : "Marse Tom, that situation with all 
its advantages is open to you, if you want ter go an' fill it." 

But Judge Head never encouraged any runaway, nor had any ' ' under- 
ground railroad." He only talked freely and boldly, and had plenty of true 
Southern men with him, such as Clay. The Eli Whitney cotton-gin had now 
made slavery so valuable that preachers looked in Hebrew and Greek Testa- 
ments for scripture for it. 

Tom Lincoln and Nancy, and Sally Bush were just steeped full of Jesse 
Head's notions about the wrong of slavery and the rights of man as explained 
by Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Abe Lincoln the Liberator was 
made in his mother's womb and father's brain and in the prayers of Sally Bush ; 
by the talks and sermons of Jesse Head, the Methodist circuit rider, assistant 
county judge, printer-editor, and cabinet-maker. Little Abe grew up to serve 
as a cabinet-maker himself two Presidential terms. 

It was in my trip to Canada after my negro that I met the younger brother 
of the great chief Tecumseh. A mob wanted to kill me because I was after 
my property that had legs and a level head. The Indian was one of the finest 
looking men I ever saw, and in the full uniform of a British officer. He pro- 
tected me, and we had a talk after the danger was over. He said that history 
was right about the death of his great brother Tecumseh at the battle of the 
Thames in 1813. But the story of his skin being taken off by soldiers to make 
razor-straps was all a lie, as they never had the chance. He was not even 
slain at the point in the battle indicated by Colonel Eichard M. Johnson, whose 
accession to the Vice-Presidency in 1836 was largely due to the credit which he 
gained for this supposed exploit. My Indian protector said he was a lad at the 
time, but [was] there ; and that the red men never abandoned their chiefs, dead 
nor alive. 

I come back again to the Lincoln-Hanks wedding of 1806. Rev. or 
Judge Jesse Head was one of the most prominent men there, as he was able to 
own slaves, but did not on principle. Next, I reckon, came Mordecai Lincoln, 
at one time member of the Kentucky legislature. He was a good Indian 
fighter ; and although some say he was the elder brother of Tom Lincoln, I 
understood he was his uncle, or father's brother. The story of his killing the 
Indian who killed old Abraham Linkhorn is all "my eye and Betty Martin." 
My acceptance of this whole pedigree is on hearsay, and none of it from 


the locality of Tom Lincoln's home. There is a, Virginia land warrant, No. 
3,334, of March 4, 1780, for four hundred acres of land, cost one hundred and 
sixty pounds, located in Jefferson County, Kentucky, on Long Eun ; and 
[there is a report of survey for the same tract (see pages 22 and 23)] signed by 
William Shanon, D. S. J. C, and William May, S. J. C, witnessed by Ana- 
niah Lincoln and Josiah Lincoln, C. C. (chain-carriers), and Abraham Link- 
horn, Marker, dated May 7, 1785, five years later. " Moixlecai Lincoln, 
Gentleman," is the title given one who died in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 
in 1735, and his will is recorded in the Register's office in Philadelphia. New 
Jersey, Virginia, and Tennessee also have the name correctly, in the last 
century. The fame of General Benjamin Lincoln of the Revolution was on 
every tongue at that time. In the field-book of Daniel Boone, owned by 
Lyman C. Draper, five hundred acres of land was entered for Abraham 
Lincoln on treasury warrant No. 5,994, December 11, 1782. The officers of the 
land-office of Virginia could spell, and so could the surveyor and deputy sur- 
veyor (Record "B," p. 60 of Jefferson County in 1785). The two chain-car- 
riers spelled the name correctly. Why not also think that the third man 
spelled his correctly ? A very illiterate man could pronounce what he could 
not spell, and Abraham Linkhorn, who had money and could write, knew his 
own name. President Lincoln told James Speed : "I don't know who my 
grandfather was, and am more concerned to know what his grandson will be." 
I am not sure that we know, either, perfectly yet.* 

While you pin me down to facts I will say that I saw Nancy Hanks 
Lincoln at her wedding, a fresh-looking girl, I should say over twenty. 
Tom was a respectable mechanic and could choose, and she was treated with 
respect. . . . 

I was at the infare, too, given by John H. Parrott, her guardian, and only 
girls with money had guardians appointed by the court. We had bear-meat 
(that you can eat the grease of, and it not rise like other fats) ; venison ; wild 
turkey and ducks ; eggs, wild and tame (so common that you could buy them 
at two bits a bushel) ; maple sugar, swung on a string", to bite off for coffee or 
whiskey ; syrup in big gourds ; peach-and-honey ; a sheep that the two families 
barbecued whole over coals of wood burned in a pit, and covered with green 
boughs to keep the juices in ; and a race for the whiskey bottle. The sheep 
cost the most, and corn w T as early raised in what is now Boyle County, at the 
Isaac Shelby place. I don't know who stamped in the first peach-seed, but 
they grew before the apples. Our table was of the puncheons cut from solid 
logs, and on the next day they were the floor of the new cabin. 

It is all stuff about Tom Lincoln keeping his wife in an open shed in a 
winter when the wild animals left the woods and stood in the corners next the 
stick-and-clay chimneys, so as not to freeze to death ; or, if climbers, got on 
the roof. The Lincolns had a cow and calf, milk and butter, a good feather 
bed, for I have slept in it (while they took the buffalo robes on the floor, be- 
cause I was a doctor) . They had home-woven ' ' kiverlids, " big and little pots, a 
loom and wheel ; and William Hardesty, who was there too, can say with me 
that Tom Lincoln was a man and took care of his wife. 

* The memoranda for Lincoln's genealogy (page 223), and the introduction to this work, as well as the 
first chapter, show that we do know now, beyond a doubt, who and what Lincoln's ancestors were. 


I have been in bark camps with Daniel and Squire Boone and James Har- 
rod. We have had to wade in the " crick," as Daniel spelt it, to get our scent 
lost in the water, and the Indian dogs off our trail. When trailed and there 
was no water handy, I have seen Daniel cut a big grapevine loose at the bot- 
tom, with his tomahawk, from the ground. Then, with a run and swing from 
the tree it hung to, swing and jump forty feet clear, to break the scent on the 
ground. I have done it too, but not so far. He could beat any man on the 
run and jump, but it took more than two Indians or one bear to make him do 
it. If no dog barked in the silent woods, we could run backward very fast, 
and make Mr. Indian think we had gone the way we came. They went that 
way, and we the other for dear scalps and hair. Squirrels barking or chatter- 
ing at Indians, or dogs, often told us of our danger. I wanted to have a pioneer 
exhibit at the great Louisville Southern Expositions of 1883 and 1884. I wanted 
the dense laurel and the papaw thickets planted in rich soil ; the bear climbing 
the bee-tree, and beaten by the swinging log hung by the hunter in his way ; 
the creeping Indian with his tomahawk, and the hunter with the old flint-and- 
steel rifle, just as I had seen them. Then I wanted to have women from the 
mountains and the counties that railroads and turnpikes have not opened, and 
have them in real life, to spin and weave, or bead and fringe the moccasin 
and hunting-shirt and leggings as they did when I was a boy. This, by the 
side of the industries and arts of the new era, and the wool and cotton ma- 
chinery in its present perfection, would indeed tell to the eyes of the changes 
seen by an old man who has lived a hundred years. As they did not listen 
to me, I have asked Henry Cleveland, who was a boy and played with my lit- 
tle children at the Harrodsburg Springs in the forties, to write it as I talked to 
him. I am very deaf, but can see and talk, and will now write my autograph 
to what he has written and copied off, and will take up James Harrod at 
another time. 

^AwT^V^ -S^<^ry^yC^3 -fyruyjCt 


r^VX f^V^^Z^ 



From the Collection of Mr. William H. Lambert of Philadelphia. 

Mr. Lambert's collection of Lincolniana has been made most intelligently. 
Primarily it consists of the literature directly relating to Lincoln, and includes 
a large number of books and pamphlets, the list of biographies and eulogies 
being very full. It also comprises a large number of engravings of Lincoln, 
and a number of autograph letters and documents, chief among which are a 


leaf from Lincoln's sum-book, 1824; the precipe in liis first lawsuit; letter to 
William H. Herndon, relative to General Taylor and the Mexican War ; letter 
to his step-brother, John D. Johnston, refusing assent to the latter's proposition 
to dispose of the mother's interest in property; printed copy of the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation, signed by Lincoln, attested by Mr. Seward, and certified by 
Mr. Nicolay, being one of the twenty copies made for the great Sanitary Fair 
in Philadelphia, 1864; and a series of autograph letters of William H. Herndon, 
written in 1866 and 1867, relative to his lectures on Lincoln and the biography 
which he proposed writing. Among the books are a copy of Paley's works, 
from Lincoln's private library; " Angel on Limitations,'' from his law library; 
and " Webster's Dictionary," used by Lincoln at the White House. 

The office table, bookcase, revolving chair, and wooden inkstand owned 
and used by Lincoln in his law office at Springfield, with certificates from Mr. 
Herndon and others as to the genuineness of these articles, are in the collec- 
tion. From the inkstand, Mr. Herndon states, the " house-divided-against- 
itself " speech was written. 

The Volk life-mask and casts of hands, the Clark-Mills life-mask, and an 
original ambrotype of Lincoln, made in August, 1860, are also owned by Mr. 



The oldest and probably the largest collection of Lincolniana which has 
been made is known as the Oldroyd collection, and is at present in the house 
in Washington, D. C. , where Lincoln died. April 15, 1865. The collection takes 
its name from its owner, Colonel 0. H. Oldroyd. The germ of the collection 
was a campaign badge which excited the possessor's desire to have others. In 
the days of 1860 in Ohio — Mr. Oldroyd lived in Ohio — it was easy to get badges 
adorned with Mr. Lincoln's face, or with a section of the rail fence and the flat- 
boat which had been adopted by the people as his armorial bearings. The 
campaign badges which young Oldroyd saved naturally drew other things to 
them; pictures off tomato cans, tobacco pouches, soap and chewing-gum 
wrappers, and what not ; cuts from the newspapers, campaign pictures. 

If Mr. Oldroyd had not been born with the collecting spirit all this would 
probably have amounted to nothing. It Avould have been relegated to the gar- 
ret and one day have been burned. But he had that itching for possession, and 
the more he had the more he wanted. He spent all he could earn in buying 
new treasures, and he began a general exchange with other collectors, until by 
the close of the war he probably had the finest lot of Lincolniana in the United 

It was the possession of this collection which induced Mr. Oldroyd to go to 
Springfield, 111. Here he hoped to add easily to what he had already gathered, 
much concerning Lincoln's early life, and to find a permanent home for his 
whole collection. Few people appreciated the value of Lincoln souvenirs in 
those days, and many curious pieces came into Mr. Oldroyd's hands for the 


asking. As the collection became larger and the public began to show interest 
in it, Mr. Oldroyd determined to put it in a place where he could exhibit it 
freely. The old Lincoln homestead, bought by Mr. Lincoln in 1846, the house 
where he was living when elected to the Presidency, was standing. It had 
been sadly neglected for many years, and now was vacant. Mr. Oldroyd 
rented it, and put his collection into the double parlors of the house. The place 
became soon one of the ' ' monuments " of Springfield, and visitors went out of 
their way to see it. It became the headquarters for old soldiers and the start- 
ing point for all kinds of patriotic gatherings. Mr. Robert Lincoln, seeing the 
interest which the public took in his father's old home, and appreciating the 
efforts of Mr. Oldroyd to make a complete collection, turned over the Lincoln 
homestead in 1887 to the State as a perpetual memorial to Abraham Lincoln. 
The legislature of Illinois formally accepted the gift, and installed Mr. Oldroyd 
as guardian of the house, it being understood that his collection was to remain 
with him. 

The undertaking proved a success, and matters went well until in 1893 the 
administration changed. For some reason which only those initiated into 
the mysteries of party government can understand, it was deemed unwise by 
the party rulers to allow Mr. Oldroyd, who happened to be of the opposing 
faith, to remain in charge of the Lincoln Home ; so he was relieved of his func- 
tions as guardian, and a new incumbent selected. One result of the change, 
which the new administration had probably not counted on, was that, as 
the collection in the house belonged to Mr. Oldroyd, and not to the State, 
when he went out that went out too. The intelligent people of Springfield of 
both parties regretted exceedingly this ludicrous application of party principles 
to so non-partisan a subject as a collection of Lincoln relics ; but nothing was 
done to save the museum, and Mr. Oldroyd was obliged to leave the town 
where he had struggled with pathetic patience for so many years to get a per- 
manent home for his Lincolniana. 

After some casting about he finally determined to remove to Washing- 
ton, and he was encouraged to this step by several men of the city and 
government — prominent among whom were Chief Justice Fuller, Dr. Hamlin, 
a leading clergyman, General Schofield, and the Hon. G. G. Hubbard. These 
gentlemen had founded a Lincoln Memorial Association; and, renting the 
house on Tenth Street where Lincoln had died on April 15, 1865, they installed 
Mr. Oldroyd in it. Their plan was to petition Congress to buy the house and 
collection, and to appropriate enough for the guardian's salary. Considerable 
interest was awakened in the enterprise, and the association, on the strength 
of this, felt justified in keeping the house open for several months. The appro- 
priation did not come, however, and the gentlemen decided that the expenses 
could not be kept up indefinitely, and that it would be necessary to close up 
the exhibit until the heart of Congress could be converted. 

The situation was a difficult one for Mr. Oldroyd. He had made the 
change from Springfield to Washington at large expense to himself, and now 
he could ill afford to carry on the enterprise alone. But with a pluck and a 
devotion to his cause which has characterized all his movements he decided to 
take the burden on himself, rent the house, keep open the museum, and trust 
to the public to support it. To aid in the undertaking, he compiled and pub- 


lished a small volume—" The Words of Lincoln." The profits from the sale 
of this book, together with the small fee charged to enter the museum, are all 
that now support the undertaking. 

The collection whose history has been here sketched is full of curious and 
interesting articles. Among the personal effects of Mr. Lincoln which Mr. 
Oldroyd has collected, the most valuable is undoubtedly the tall silk hat which 
was worn by Lincoln on the night of his assassination. There are several 
specimens of the plain and homely garments used by Mr. Lincoln in his early 
days in Illinois. Of household furniture there are many examples. The most 
touching is, undoubtedly, the simple, old-fashioned cradle in which Mrs. Lin- 
coln, and, if tradition is correct, Mr. Lincoln also, rocked " Tad" and Willie. 
A wooden settee which stood for years on the veranda of the Springfield house, 
is exhibited, as well as the cooking-stove which stood in the Lincoln kitchen 
at the time when the family moved to Washington. Mr. Oldroyd says that he 
has been offered extravagant sums by stove dealers for this stove, they wanting 
it presumably to use as an advertisement. Another valuable piece of furniture 
is the wooden office chair which Mr. Lincoln used when he first began to 
practise law in 1837. A chair of still greater interest is an old-fashioned hair- 
cloth rocker in which he sat in Ford's Theatre on the night on which he 
received his death- wound. 

Several autograph letters from Mr. Lincoln are owned by Mr. Oldroyd. 
By far the most interesting specimen of his writing is the short autobiography 
which he prepared for his friend Jesse Fell before the campaign of 1860. 
This autobiography was the foundation of all the histories which were issued 
in such great numbers just before and after his first election. 

In Lincoln portraiture the collection is very full, though it is rather from 
a historical point of view than from an artistic that it is valuable. Mr. Oldroyd 
has copies of nearly all of the engravings and lithographs issued in Mr. Lin- 
coln's lifetime. He has also a splendid lot of wood-cuts gathered from news- 
papers, magazines, and pamphlets. In this collection of prints there are 
numbers of views of the Lincoln family and of various scenes connected with 
Mr. Lincoln's public career. From the spring of 1860 until after the funeral, in 
1865, there were few issues of the illustrated papers in this country which did 
not contain something on the President. Mr. Oldroyd has succeeded in getting 
nearly all of these prints, among them a great many caricatures. He has a 
full set of "Vanity Fair," and many of the Currier and Ives lithographs, now 
so rare. An interesting feature of the collection is the number of curios it 
contains— campaign documents of various kinds, such as badges, medals, pins, 
letter paper and envelopes, flags, etc. 

The use that was made by advertisers of Lincoln's face during his Presi- 
dency is shown by a case of common articles ; there are tomato cans, soap, 
washing fluid, tobacco pouches, cigarette cases, spruce gum, and many other 
trivial articles, all enclosed in highly-colored papers bearing portraits of Mr. 
Lincoln, surrounded by a rail fence or some popular campaign legend. 

The only complete collection of the portraits of Lincoln issued by the 
government which we have ever seen, Mr. Oldroyd owns. Among them is a 
revenue stamp calling for five pounds of tobacco ; another is good for seventy 
gallons of distilled spirits, a third for four ounces of snuff, and a fourth 


calls for cigarettes. Lincoln's head appears on a variety of postage stamps ; 
the four, six, fifteen, and ninety-cent stamps all bear his face. The six-cent 
stamp of each of the Departments has a head of Lincoln. The old fifty-cent 
" shin plaster " is exhibited. It was the only one of our scrip issue which bore 
a head of Lincoln. His picture is also to be found on a ten-dollar greenback, 
a one-hundred-dollar United States note, and a one-hundred-dollar government 

The most valuable portion of the Oldroyd collection is undoubtedly its 
books, pamphlets, and clippings. The library contains almost all of the 
biographies which have been issued, a large number of memoirs by con- 
temporaries of Lincoln, and many war records. There are copies of some 
three hundred different sermons delivered at the time of Lincoln's death, 
as well as a great number of the pieces of music composed in his honor. 

A precious book in Mr. Oldroyd's Lincoln library is the Bible owned by 
Thomas Lincoln, the father of the President. This Bible bears the date of 
1798 ; it undoubtedly went with the Lincolns from Kentucky to Indiana, and 
was carried from there by them when they moved into Illinois. It was kept 
in the family of Thomas Lincoln's step-children until 1892, when it was sold 
to be exhibited at the World's Fair. It afterward passed to Mr. Oldroyd. 

At present it is not known what will be done with the Oldroyd collection. 
The owner has made heroic efforts to keep it together, and it is to be hoped 
that some way will open by which he can realize his ambition. 

A series of articles on the middle and later periods of Lincoln's life will be found 
in the McClure's Magazine, beginning with the number for March, 1896. These 
articles are prepared by the authors of the present volume, assisted by many persons 
who ivere in close personal association with Lincoln, and possess important facts and 
reminiscences never before published. The articles are very fully illustrated with 
numerous portraits of Lincoln, his friends and associates, and with pictures, specially 
drawn or photographed for the Magazine, of cdl important places and scenes with 
■which he was connected. 

McClure's Magazine for 1896 


The forthcoming articles in the Lincoln series promise t< 
expectations raised by the History of the Early Life of Lincoln. 

more than satisfy the 


is now first told, and disposes of many falsehoods. 

The First Encounter of Lincoln and Douglas. 

The Famous Lincoln-Shields Duel, with much new 
material and new anecdotes. 

Lincoln's Nomination to Congress — many unpub- 
lished letters. 

Lincoln and the Abolition movement. A new 
Lincoln letter of great interest on this matter. 

Lincoln in the 30th Congress. 

Lincoln as a Lawyer, with masses of new material 
and anecdotes. Also the history of the three most 
famous of his law cases: The McCormick Trial, The 
Illinois Central Case, and a Famous Murder Trial. 

Lincoln and the Formation of the Republican 
party. The Famous Lost Speech, now first published. 

Lincoln's Candidacy for the U. S. Senate. The 
Lincoln and Douglas debates. The Nomination of 
Lincoln for the Presidency, his Election, etc. Every 
chapter is replete with new material, including unpub- 
lished letters of Lincoln's and unpublished speeches. 

The Great Gallery of Lincoln Portraits will be con- 
tinued. There will be over six f y in all; new and impor- 
tant ones in every issue. The illustrations will be lavish 
as heretofore. 


will be particularly fascinating reading. She tells the Story of the Pemberton Mil 


Called forth by the universal bereavement wrought by the 
Civil War. " The grand review passed through Washing- 
ton. Four hundred thousand ghosts of murdered men 
kept invisible march to the drum-beats, and lifted to the 
stained and tattered flags the proud and unreturned gaze 
of the dead who have died in their glory." 

This autobiography is filled with the noblest biographies 
to be found in our language. The pictures she gives of 
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Longfellow, Whittier, Dr. Holmes, 
Phillips Brooks, Celia Thaxter, Lucy Larcom, Lydia Maria 
Child, James T. Fields, and the other noble people of a 
Past that is almost To-day, are the finest, most illumi- 
native, and most adequate it has been our fortune to read. 

Those who have read Miss Phelps's latest novel, "A 
Singular Life," will be glad to find in these chapters the 
story of her life in Gloucester, that burned the subject 
matter of that novel into her heart. 

This magazine is honored to be the vehicle of essays so lofty and noble and uplifting. 





OR two years before his death Stevenson 
was at work upon this novel. Other 
literary labors occupied him at times, 
but this romance held his enthusi- 
astic interest during those last two 
years. In letters written by Steven- 
son to Professor Sidney Colvin, 
this story is frequently referred 
to. The first reference to "St. 
Ives " appears under date of Jan- 
uary 24, 1893 : 
" I must tell you that in my sickness I had a huge 
alleviation and began a new story. This I am writing 
by dictation, and really think it is an art I can manage 
to acquire. The story is to be called 'St. Ives."' 
From this time on Mr. Stevenson was, as we see from his 
letters, absorbed in the work of writing " St. Ives." 

" St. Ives " is purely a romance of adventure. It 
is the story of a French prisoner captured in the 
Peninsular wars, who is shut up in Edinburgh Castle; 
there he falls in love with a Scotch girl who visits the 

prisoners. There is early in the story a duel, under extraordinary circumstances, between 
St. Ives and a fellow-prisoner; after various episodes a dangerous plan of escape is decided 
upon, and the daring St. Ives finally becomes a free man. The perils that he undergoes 
while in hiding about Edinburgh, his adventures on the Great North Road with strangers 
and robbers, his escape across the border, his return to Edinburgh, and many other 
incidents of this splendidly conceived story are told in the spirited, vivacious and wonderful 
style of which Stevenson was a master. 



(His only long story "written since " The Prisoner of Zenda ") 


Though several books by Anthony Hope have been issued in this country since the 

publication of " The Prisoner 

. hi 


of Zenda," about two years ago, Mr. Hope has actually 
produced no long novel except " Phroso." 

" Phroso " is more fresh and engaging in natural 
surprises of dramatic incident, more thrilling in unusual 
situations and brave deeds and cunning villainies, than even 
" The Prisoner of Zenda." It is a story of the present 
day, and the hero is a fine young English nobleman 
named Wheatley. He buys an outlying island in the 
Grecian Archipelago, an island that has only a few 
hundred inhabitants, a great rock rising a thousand 
feet from the sea. At the very beginning the reader's 
interest is aroused by the imagined dangers that lie in wait 
for the hero. Nothing could be more splendidly absorbing 
than the incidents that follow: the landing of Wheatley 
and his friends on the island, their imprisonment at the 
inn, their escape to the house at the top of the rock, the 
siege of the house, the sally and the capture of the Princess 
Phroso, the finding of the secret door, the passage through 
the rocky headland to the seashore, the fight in the cave; 
and so one might go on enumerating incident after incident 
until with a burst of daring and diplomacy the whole 
situation is cleared up and a happy conclusion reached. 



Mr. Kipling, having finished the Jungle Stories, seems 
now to be writing stories of ships and stories of the Arctic 
regions. Several tales by Mr. Kipling will appear during 
the year. 


"Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush," Maclaren's first book, 
has had a larger sale in England and America than any 
book of stories published in the past ten years. Over 
100,000 copies have been sold. Maclaren takes his place 
beside Barrie as one of the great story writers of Scottish 
life. Several of his short stories will be printed in 


,„, Mr. Barr first won popularity through his " Luke Sharp" 

sketches, which appeared originally in the Detroit Free 
Press and were widely copied in other newspapers. It 
is only of late years that he has been writing over his 
own name. Conan Doyle ranks Mr. Barr among the 
six best short story writers of the world. He has just 
completed a number of stories, the last he will write for 
many months, as his time will be devoted to a long novel. 



Octave Thanet writes of Western and Southwestern 
life from full personal knowledge, for her home is in Iowa 
and she usually spends her winters in Arkansas, where 
she has a plantation. She will contribute a series of six 
stories during the year. 

Short stories will also be furnished by S. R. Crockett, 
Gilbert Parker, Stanley J. Weyman, and others. 


Under this title are published series of portraits of 

distinguished people taken at different periods of their lives, 
showing in the most interesting manner the development of 
character and ability as portrayed in the face. 


including an early portrait made in Hannibal, Mo., where 
Mark Twain spent his boyhood, photographs taken in San 
Francisco, with other and later portraits. 


The daughter of the poet, Miss Alice Longfellow, has 
kindly loaned us a number of photographs and early pictures 
for this series. 

Collections of portraits, from youth up, of other famous people 

MARK TWAIN IN 1868 J r ' J ' * ' J J * * 

Taken at Constantinople, while on the tour Will be published. 
described in " Innocents Abroad " ■* "" 




R. LOW began his art education abroad in 1873, a °d remained in Europe 
five years. He has been abroad many times since, and he has studied 
foreign art thoroughly in most of the important public and private gal- 
leries. Equipped with this fund of knowledge, Mr. Low went to Europe 
last June, and for some months devoted 
himself to selecting the most important 
and interesting of the great modern 
paintings of Great Britain and the Con- 
tinent, for reproduction in McClure's 
Magazine. He has secured photo- 
graphs of the chosen pictures, photo- 
graphs taken directly from the paintings themselves under 
the most favorable circumstances. They are carefully en- 
graved and printed in the magazine, and make the most 
accurate reproductions of the great paintings that can pos- 
sibly be secured. Mr. Low furnishes a series of articles in 
which he tells about the painters, the art movements of the 
century, the origin of great pictures, with anecdotes of their 


A representative of the magazine has just gone to 
Vienna to secure a complete and authentic description of 
Professor Roentgen's Marvelous Discovery which promises 
to revolutionize surgery, and the April McClure's will contain the full story of this 
discovery — the greatest of the year. 



will begin in an early number. They will be splendidly illustrated. 


An article in an early number will describe the latest progress made toward bringing 
the horseless carriage to perfection. It will be fully illustrated. 


A series of articles the result of Mr. Serviss's visit to the great observatories of Europe. 
In this series he will tell in simple, popular form what astronomers are doing, what they are 
learning and discovering. In a private letter recently received from him, he describes his 
attempt to reach the observatory of Mt. Blanc and the snow storm that assailed him and 
his guides just before they reached the summit. 


S. S. McCLURE, Limited 
30 Lafayette Place New York City, N. Y. 




'248 Pages. With 275 Illustrations. 

This is the second volume of McClure's Library, and contains: 

GLADSTONE. By H. W. Massingham. With 18 
portraits of Gladstone from the aye of 3 to 83, and 

13 other illustrations. 

BISMARCK. 2\ portraits from the age 17 to 79. 

GRANT. By General Horace Porter. With 21 
portraits from the age of 21 till the last month of 
his life, and other illustrations. 


With 7 portraits. 


H. M. Bvers. 

PROFESSOR TYNDALL. By Herbert Spencer. 
With 4 portraits and 4 other illustrations. 

CHARLES A. DANA. By Edward P. Mitchell. 

With 1 1 portraits from the age of ^2 to the present 
time, and 12 other illustrations. 


graphical paper. With 14 portraits and other 

Everett Ha i.e. With 9 portraits from the age 
of 35 till his 84th year, and 11 other illustrations. 

W. D. HOWELLS. By Professor H. H. Boyesen. 
With 13 portraits of Mr. Howells, portraits of Pro- 
fessor Boyesen, and other illustrations. 

From a painting by George Hayter 

land. With 2 portraits, a poem in autograph, por- 
trait of Mr. Garland, and 5 other illustrations. 

BRET HARTE. By H. J. W. Dam. 
of Bret Harte and other illustrations 

With portraits 
With 9 

EUGENE FIELD. By Hamlin Garland 
portraits and other illustrations. 

D. L. MOODY. By Professor Henry Drummond. 
With portraits and other illustrations, including pho- 
tographs of Mr. Moody preaching on the hill called 
"New Calvary," near Jerusalem. 

Also portraits and intimate personal studies of 
GEORGE DU MAURIER (the Author of "Trilby "), 
W. CABLE, and others. 


In the different series of portraits are seen many of 
the most noted men of our time, the story of their lives written upon their faces; and the 
biographies present in each instance the real man. 

For sale by all A T ews dealers and Booksellers, or sent postage free by the Publishers. 
Price in paper, jo cents. In cloth, $1.00. 

S. S. McClure, Limited, 30 Lafayette Place, New York City 


There's a reason for the brightness 
That this charming maid displaj 

And she makes no secret of it 

With her pretty winning ways; 

It's a pleasantry she's fond of 

As she throws the casement ope, 

"Good Morning!" cries she gaily, 

"Have you also used Pears' Soap?' 

Pears' Soap is the best means of beautifying- the skin and rendering 

it clear and transparent. 

20 International Awards. Established over 100 years. 

All sorts of stores sell it— especially druggists; all sorts of people use it. 

There are soaps offered as substitutes 
which are dangerous— be sure you get 

Pears' Soap.